Packed house sees Bomber Demolition;
Bartlett in virtuoso Pro Stock drive;
Tilford picks up Pure Stock Gold

By Bob Burbach

Marysville 10/13/2007 - Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett took on some of the finest stock car drivers in northern California and won the 30 lap Pro Stock feature event at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway park Saturday night. Tom Tilford of Placerville found victory lane in the companion 30 lap Pure Stock program. This event showcased current and former track champions in both classes. The result was a thrilling side by side stock car slug-fest that featured full fields in both classes and a B main in the Pure Stock class.

The hoot n’ holler, crash ‘em up finale, the 1st annual “Extreme Bomber Regatta and Demolition Derby”, had the fans on their feet throughout the event. Jared Powers with perhaps the heaviest and biggest car in the field, finally eclipsed the smallest, lightest car in the field when leader “Crazy Dave” (never did find out his last name) rolled to a halt in turn two in his sub-compact front drive car. Powers found victory lane as the last car running as some 20 other entrants crashed, burned and fizzled to a stop. Cars hauling RVs, boat trailers (with boats) and any number of other items were entered.

The Pro Stock feature event started the series of main events that led up to the Derby. The event was peppered with outstanding Pro Stock drivers ready to lock horns. The pill draw put Yuba City’s Jeff Olschowka on the pole flanked by Bartlett’s familiar #00. With 30 laps as the distance the quick and talented field would have time to make it to the front.

Olschowka got the initial jump as the 20 car field poured into turn 1. Bartlett shadowed Olschowka for the first few circuits as John “Porkchop” Johnson slipped into 3rd. Antioch Speedway champion Todd Gomez started 7th, but was moving rapidly and got to 4th by the 5th round. Johnson and Gomez battled briefly before Gomez reached 3rd and took off after the streaking lead duo. Placerville’s Trent Petersen got by Johnson shortly thereafter for 4th and the quartet of Olshowka, Bartlett, Gomez and Petersen gradually pulled away from the field by 20 yards. Gomez hounded Bartlett relentlessly through this stage of the event and got by Bartlett as the yellow flew for the 1st time. Johnson’s car came to a stop smoking badly, prompting the yellow flag segment.

The restart saw the leaders begin a monumental struggle for the top spot as the race reached for the ½ way mark. Gomez looked low and high for a way around Olschowka. Bartlett, in turn, was showing Gomez his fender lap after lap. It was a battle royal between the three leaders that reached almost legendary status. At ½ way the warriors made it 3 wide out of 4 with the fans on their feet. Olschowka, with the high-side line into turn 1, prevailed on that lap but Bartlett crept up on the outside of Gomez on the next time around. Three champion drivers were so close that no more than the width of a piece of paper separated the trio. Petersen was lurking just a car length behind waiting for what appeared to be the inevitable crash that would thrust him into the lead. But that crash never happened. Nearing 20 laps distance, Gomez made good an inside pass on Olschowka and Bartlett, with Petersen glued to his tail, slipped on by as well.

At this point it became obvious that another racer was making some serious progress through the field.  Phil Shelby Sr., saddled up for the 1st time this year, had taken a dismal starting position and parlayed it into a top 5 run. Shelby was shedding parts along the way after absorbing some scrapes and bangs in his run to the front. Once again, a champion driver was showing his talents in this star studded event. Shelby would need some yellow flag help and some serious miscues by the leaders to challenge for the top spot. Those breaks didn’t come as he needed them to, but his drive was noteworthy, nonetheless.

The last 5 laps of the event were breathtaking. Gomez Bartlett and Peterson were into heavy lapped traffic as Shelby made his way into 4th. Olschowka was out of the picture now as he had spun off of the 4th turn, out of contention. Gomez and Bartlett started to leave Peterson as they flashed through traffic more quickly. Then Bartlett was on the outside of Gomez with 3 to go. Gomez moved a little higher on the track as the end drew near. Bartlett pounced and the pair raced side by side, through traffic as they headed to the white flag. Bartlett, on the inside, inched ahead at the line with a ¼ mile to go. Gomez slipped high in turn 1 and Bartlett was gone. Peterson took advantage of Gomez’ final lap miscue and scored second with a nice rally of his own. It was truly a thriller, and one for the books, as this thrash for the top spot kept the fans, and this observer, riveted. Shelby did get to 4th in the end followed by Kevin Ward of Chico.

The Pure Stock Main event had whittled the starting field to 20 having to use a B main for the full field of challengers. Yuba City’s Billy Knoop and infrequent visitor Jess Garland had the front row at the initial green flag. Knoop and Garland were on the gas way too early for race director Tim Sherman’s liking and were sent to the rear for the restart. The new front row included Jason England, who won here 2 weeks ago and the very quick Tom Tilford.

The new green had Tilford and England battling for the lead in the early laps with England taking the measure of Tilford as the race progressed to lap 5. As an extra added attraction the MRP Mini Stocks were allowed to compete in the Pure Stock program with many of the top cars easily staying with the top Pure Stock racers. Marysville’s Jeremy Hawes and Reno Nevada’s Shawn Nadenstadt were moving forward, taking their 4 cylinder hot rods into the top 10.

But the story of this race was the titanic charge of former MRP Champion driver Knoop. After his penalty had sent him to the rear, he rocketed his way through this field of top drivers to the front. Often making daring, 3 wide passes in traffic, Knoop was on a mission. Bumps and bangs were part of Knoop’s charge to the front. Before the race was ½ over, Knoop was knocking on the door for 2nd. Tilford put up a fight, but was easily passed by Knoop in a spectacular 2-car pass that also shot Knoop past the leader, England. It was all over from there as Knopp sailed on to take the checkered flag in a race that had few yellow flag pauses.

On the last lap as Knoop took the checkers, England lost the handle on the low side of turn 4 coming to the line. Tilford slipped by the errant England and claimed what he thought was 2nd place. Amazingly, Hawes in the #8 MRP Mini Stock was in 4th at the time of England’s last lap slide. He also got by and finished an unbelievable 3rd under the flag.

At the flag, race director Sherman penalized Knoop 4 positions for rough driving in his charge to the front. 2nd running Tilford was declared the race winner and Hawes was 2nd. Rick Gruner placed 3rd in the event with England recovering for 4th. The 4 position penalty should put Knoop into 5th position. All finishes to all events are not official until the close of business on Tuesday. Watch the website for final finishing positions.

Paul and Kathy Hawes brought down the curtain on the 2007 racing season with a spectacular crash‘em up finale. The 1st annual “Extreme Bomber Regatta and Demolition Derby” was presented. It was pretty simple and was an absolute gas! Trailers were towed by the Extreme Bomber Stock Cars around the MRP ¼ mile. Winged Sprint Car standout Korey Lovell and arch nemesis Brandon Dozier piloted vans with trailers attached... and, of course wings!

Scott Schrum and Eric Jones took advantage of their front row starting positions to lead the early laps of this vehicle crunching slugfest. Dozier actually shadowed 2nd running Jones for a number of laps. It was really close for a while before Jones took the lead with Dozier in tow. Both were destined to become victims of the mechanical carnage that this race soon became. Jeremy Hawes in the now infamous “Enforcer” was doing damage wherever he could.

The race was red flagged on lap 9 as Jamey Ollar’s car started to burn. Ollar was the LAST car to stop under this red-flag condition as fire fighters ran in circles trying to get Ollar’s attention. With the fire out, Ollar and his co-driver left the car right where it was (on the front chute) and the green light was turned back on.

A couple of laps after that incident, Jones slammed into wreckage on the back chute and his night came to a noisy end. Shortly thereafter Dozier’s mount was done with indescribable damage. Korey Lovell highsided his silver, winged van near turn 3 at about the same time that front runner Jake Bradley hit Hawes so hard from the rear that Bradley’s car actually “trailered” itself  on Hawes trailer. Amazing, but true. Both cars continued around only to stop on the back chute next to Lovell’s van…MEANWHILE, the #ou812 of the aforementioned “Crazy Dave” was motoring around with little resistance and was the leader followed (nearly 3 laps down) by Powers. Kenny Lloyd, a recent winner in Bomber competition was lapping quicker than anyone as the race approached 30 laps of the 100 lap (or last car running) distance.

However, MRP had turned into as minefield of mechanical garbage. As the race plowed its way along Hawes broke free and banged into Lovell freeing the winged 71 and hanging himself out to dry for the final time. With about 6 cars left moving, Lovell’s

car finally caught fire on the front chute bringing out another red flag.

Of the remaining cars, only 3 restarted. Lloyd, “Crazy Dave” and Powers hammered the gas. 37 laps had been scored. It was obvious that this was going to be a “last car running” close to this entertaining event. A couple of laps after the restart Lloyd’s car simply stopped. No drama, no crash…just stopped. Someone said they forgot to check the gas. I don’t know. So the final two combatants were in diametrically opposed car types. Powers had a gigantic Ford or Mercury 4 door with a full trailer (with passenger chair) still attached and “Crazy Dave” was tooling around in a little Geo (or something similar) with his trailer ripped to pieces over 20 laps ago. 

With a wimper and a small puff of smoke, “Crazy Dave” and his little giant killer rolled to a silent stop in turn 2 amongst the smoking battered junk that was once the starting field in this event. Powers was given the checkered flag as the winner of this outrageous race. Powers didn’t last another lap as his beaten car rolled to a stop, smoking and making a bizarre grinding sound, before he got to victory lane. That’s probably a good thing as the starting line area was almost completely blocked by cars in various states of disrepair.

The whole evening was a stunning success as the racing was excellent in the two stock car classes, and the Derby was…well, the Derby…a real crowd pleaser. The track was hooked up and smokin’ all night long. The grandstands were packed. It’s been more than a decade since MRP finished the season with an open stock car show. It used to be a staple of this 39 year old facility. Perhaps some traditions need to be reborn. This observer is looking forward to this event next year and would like to encourage promoter Hawes to end next season on a similar note. The Western Dirt Championship that has so long been forgotten needs this place on the MRP post-season calendar next year. But, keep the Derby in place to bring down next year’s curtain.

Next year Paul and Kathy Hawes will be back to MRP celebrating the 40th year of continual operation. Look for many special events to be posted here in the near future. Don’t forget the Awards Banquet set for November 10th at the beautiful Colusa Casino. All 5 Divisions will be celebrated with awards and a great night is anticipated by all. This event is open to the public. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Stein holds off Hawes in thrilling National;
New York Driver Harvey wins Mini Sprint gold
By Bob Burbach

Marysville CA. 10/6/2007 - 2005 Wingless Sprint Car champion Steve Stein of Davis held off a hard charging Jeremy Hawes in the final circuits to win the 1st annual Wingless Sprint Car Nationals at Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. Milford New York’s Don Harvey led wire to wire in a star studded Mini Sprint National that was also presented by Paul and Kathy Hawes over the same weekend.

The 2-day show featured many of California’s brightest stars in the wingless sprint division.  Friday night showcased frantic heat races and a B main event that qualified the drivers into Saturday’s final events. Some of the combatants didn’t fare so well in Friday’s preliminary action. Shaun Tenora of Ewa Beach Hawaii was moving forward in his Wingless Sprinter as a 3rd or better finishing position in the heat races automatically transferred the driver into Saturday’s final. Ternora took a look at the high side in turn 3 while trying to pass the black #2 of Mike Martins. Ternora hit Martin’s right rear with his left front and the flyin’ Hawaiian did just that. Ternora’s car twirled into a dizzying series of flips that silenced the crowd. His crushed racer came to rest over the banking in turn 4. To everyone’s satisfaction, Ternora wobbled away from his battered racer. Shaken, but not hurt.

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Also in that event, Paradise racer Justin Funkhouser caught a wheel at the starter’s stand and barrel rolled his well manicured #5 up the chute and into the catch fencing off of turn 1. Funkhouser immediately jumped from his overturned machine and marched off to the pits; his national was done.

Quick qualifier, Darrell Hanestad pulled for an 8 inversion in Saturday’s National final sending him to 8th starting position and placing Yuba City’s Mark Hill and 2004 MRP Wingless Sprint Car champion Chris Magoon of Antioch in the front row.

With the Wingless Nationals preliminary races in the books the Mini Sprint National field put on a full program that sent the top 10 into Saturday’s National Mini Sprint final. The Mini Sprint field presented a truly national representation of drivers and even a few from Canada. One driver was here from Australia. BCRA’s Rick Holbrook flipped wildly in the final preliminary race for the Mini Sprints and quickly walked away. Friday’s events were run in swift fashion and the 50+ entrants received the final checkered flag just before 10 PM.

Locally, the much-anticipated debut of 2007 Street Stock champion Phillip Shelby would have to wait a day as he fried his motor in hot laps while practicing in his wingless sprinter. This observer had the opportunity to talk to father Phil Shelby during the weekend and he confirmed that Phillip would be moving to Sprint Cars in 2007 and that 2007 Mini Stock champion Lisa Shelby would move into the Street Stock class next year.

Saturday’s picture perfect fall weather greeted the racers for their championship final events. The Wingless Sprint Car B main turned into a thriller at its conclusion. The B main would determine the final starters in the National Final. The race was stretched out as the final laps were run. Then, Shelby (with a new motor) got comfortable in his new seat and started to go forward. It got great at the end as Shelby in an effort to clinch 2nd spot dove under Martins who had 2nd in the bag. Shelby took his car high into 3 and diamond off of 4 and swept past the surprised Martins, taking 2nd by .006 of a second at the stripe. Not a bad intro to the class.

Former champ Magoon and Hill led the field to the green flag in the Championship Final event in the 1st annual Wingless Sprint Car Nationals. Magoon jumped into the lead as Hill and 2005 MRP Champion Stein found 3rd in lap 1. Hill made a sweet move on Magoon in turn 3 the next time around and motored off to a 4 or 5 car length lead in the next few laps. Magoon came under fire from Stein and Hawaii’s Brandon Ternora. He was quickly relegated to 4th position as Stein and Ternora roared on by. On lap 5 Jeremy Hawes showed up behind Magoon and got by for 4th. The first of two quick yellow flag segments slowed the pace. Quick qualifier and pre-race favorite Darrell Hanestad was the subject of both slowdowns and he was out for the night.

The new green provided some of the best racing of the year as Hill was able to keep Stein at bay.  Brandon Ternora was an excellent 3rd as Hawes appeared to be unable to reel in the top runners as the race approached 10 laps of the scheduled 30. The ever patient Stein was slowly working his way in on Hill. Then as the race found the 10 lap mark Stein was by Hill in a flash as Hill left the inside open off of turn 4. Stein put a couple of car lengths between himself and Hill as Hawes started to find his rhythm and was all over Tenora for 3rd. 4th row starter, Santa Rosa’s Terry Shank, parked on Hawes’ tail as that duo eclipsed Ternora near ½ way. At the same time, Hill closed on Stein again.

You could throw a blanket over the top 4 positions as this race got very good. Then a long green flag segment changed the complexion of this part of the event. This long green flag segment and the two leaders’ ability to get through lapped traffic put some real estate between Hill and Hawes (in 2nd and 3rd).

With 9 to go an incidental yellow flag closed the field and gave Hawes and Shank the help they needed to stay close. At the new green, Hawes immediately got past Hill and closed rapidly on Stein. Hawes was the quickest car on the track now, and with a clear track ahead, the atmosphere was electric. As the race moved into it’s final 5 laps Hawes was steadily closing on Stein while Santa Rosa’s Dave Press started to come forward in a brilliant late race drive. Press, the 2007 Petaluma champion flew by Hill for 3rd and took out after the leaders. Press would run out of time and have to settle for 3rd in the end.

Up front was another story as Hawes was lurking just a car length, or so, behind Stein as the pair raced toward starter Robin Davies checkered flag. Hawes got to Stein’s tail, but that’s as close as it would get as Stein simply didn’t make any mistakes that would have allowed the young charger an opening. Stein took the checkers and the $2000 first prize. The race was a thriller all the way and, as usual, Stein was gracious in victory lane.

It is interesting to note that both Stein and Hawes were nursing some injuries that they received during the early part of the day. Stein slipped and fell while loading the car to come to Saturday’s final event. He landed on his left side nerf bar, but he hit it with his sternum and ribs. He confided to this observer early on that he really didn’t know if he could stand the pain during the event, but was going to see how he felt when he saddled up. Then Hawes had a practice injury to his left side rib cage when he tossed his car right to avoid a spinning car in turn 1. He said it knocked the wind out of him. He quickly recovered and went back out to practice. Almost immediately he was behind another spinning car. He reacted, missed the errant car, but flew off the track in turn 1 and hammered the concrete. Initially, the car was scratched from further competition and Hawes was KO’d by the impact. Both cars and drivers returned for the feature to post the thrilling 1-2 finish.

The companion Mini Sprint National was a runaway for pole sitter Harvey. He led every lap and was never challenged. Harvey’s trip to California from New York for the National Series surely paid off.

The race behind Harvey was a barn-burner as British Columbia’s Arron Fell, and Washington’s Brock Lemley sliced and diced their way to the front. Early on in the race Lemley flipped on a restart. He was relegated to the back for the restart and began a titanic drive to the front in his twisted and battered machine. Lemley got as high as 4th before a couple of late race passes dropped him to 6th. Still it was a ride worth watching. Fell got to 2nd in the late laps after his notable run to the front. His dice with Holmwood was a thriller and the end wasn’t decided until late in the race.

Next week Paul and Kathy Hawes will bring down the curtain on the 2007 racing season with a spectacular crash ‘em’ up finale. The 1st annual “Extreme Bomber Regatta and Demolition” will be presented. It’s pretty simple and should be an absolute gas!!! Trailers and RV’s will be towed by the Extreme Bomber Stock Cars for 100 laps around the MRP ¼ mile. This observer learned that Winged Sprint Car standout Korey Lovell and arch nemesis Brandon Dozier will pilot cars with RV trailers attached. That alone will be worth the price of admission. This Spectacular event will head onto the track at 7PM.

As a special added attraction, the MRP Street Stocks will host a program featuring heat races and a 20 lap feature event. This open, non-point paying event, is open to all competitors in this class from tracks all over California.

Next year Paul and Kathy Hawes will be back to MRP celebrating the 40th year of continual operation. Look for many special events to be posted here in the near future. Don’t miss next Saturday night’s wild and wooly crash fest. Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Shelby, Foster, Grenert and McLaughlin take 1st Beer Cup Trophies
By Bob Burbach

September 9, 2007 Marysville- A festive atmosphere filled the air as Paul and Kathy Hawes presented the 1st Annual Beer Cup at Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. The event was also filled with tension and emotion as the KKCY Street Stock point leaders were separated by only one point coming into the program. A swift contingent of out of town stock car drivers  threw an extra element into the Street Stock event. Marysville’s James Foster found victory lane with a wire-to-wire win in the KKCY Mini Stocks. The Colusa Comet, Tim McLaughlin padded his Sprint 100 point lead and the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars crowned their 2007 champion. The Extreme Bomber Wrong Way/ Paint Gun shootout capped the evening’s entertainment. The 1st ever “Beer Belly” contest also proved to be a crowd pleaser filled with comic moments.

The KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stocks were the first of MRP’s primary divisions to present their feature event and it was a James Foster benefit. The Marysville hot shoe led wire to wire from his front row starting position. Foster could not have known how close he came to being challenged by hard charging Jamey Ollar. Ollar didn’t even qualify through his heat race for the main and had to win the “B” main just to get in. Ollar then started 17th in the Main event.

Aside from Foster’s impressive run, Ollar was the show. He clawed his way through the field with a startling aggression that has had Ollar in victory lane often lately. A number of yellow flag incidents helped Ollar close gaps during the race, but that should not take anything away from Ollar’s solid performance.

At the drop of the green Foster was gone. Point contender Blane Baker had early race problems that put him a lap down. Point leader Lisa Shelby was coming forward but a backstretch incident stopped the quick 88 and prompted a yellow flag. 2006 champion Joel Giusti stood to benefit to a large degree in the points as Shelby’s car was pushed off the track. But, as the new green waved, Shelby rejoined the field and Giusti’s opportunity to take a big chunk out of her point lead vanished. As a matter of fact, Giusti had mid race problems himself that sent him to the rear. Like Shelby, Giusti did some impressive racing of his own after his crash to salvage a 5th place in the final rundown. Orland driver Steve Barbo made quick moves in the early laps to secure 2nd place before Ollar hunted him down in the late going. Barbo stayed 3rd in his 1st ever performance at MRP. Mike Merritt placed a fine 4th.

Foster was asked in victory lane about the battles that went on behind him. He said, “I don’t know what to say, I was in front of it all.” Indeed he was.

Point leader Lisa Shelby of Yuba City had her ups and downs in this one. All told, however, she came out of the event with a nice point lead going into the final event. All finishes and points are official at the close of business on Tuesday.

The KKCY Street Stocks rolled out next and Yuba City’s Heather Bartlett and Phillip Shelby shared the front row. After the heat races, Bartlett held a 2 point advantage over Shelby heading into the feature event. Starter Jerry Witzke waved the green and Heather Bartlett jumped to a healthy early lead. Shelby overcooked his entry into turn 1 in the first few circuits and fell back a couple of positions as Jerry Bartlett secured 2nd behind daughter Heather. The race stayed green as Shelby ran through the infield, recovered and started to run down the lead duo.

An impressive field of stock car racers included Placerville’s last two champions and young Forryst Carnett was right in the mix up front. But, Shelby having recovered started to reel in the leaders. There was a whirl of action as the race leaders ran down lapped traffic at a dizzying clip. The Bartlett pair seemed invincible as Shelby had to battle through the same lapped traffic they had easily eclipsed. The race had gone without a yellow to this point.

Then Shelby got clear of lapped cars and started to run down 2nd running Jerry Bartlett. The duel was a fierce one, but the 2006 champion finally got by the 4-time champ and set sail toward the leader. Heather Bartlett was turning some impressive laps, but Shelby was a tick quicker. The gap closed slowly, but continually. Finally, Shelby reached leader Heather Bartlett and the battle for the championship was on display right in front of the vocal crowd. Shelby threw low side moves at the leader, but Heather Bartlett kept the bottom closed. At ½ way this race was shaping up as an all time thriller. With 7 to go Shelby had a very quick turn 1 & 2 and had a run on the pink 99 going up the back chute. Shelby nosed ahead in turn 3 and cleared Heather Bartlett as the duo roared up the front stretch.

From that point it was all Shelby. He started to leave the Bartletts and put together a 20-car length lead at flag. This one went green to checkered without a yellow. Considering Shelby’s foray into the infield early on, his drive to the front and eventual victory was that much more impressive having no yellow flags to help him close the gaps. It was one of the more memorable drives in stock car racing history at this 39-year-old facility.

Shelby’s pass of Heather Bartlett is what he needed as the lead pass put him exactly 1 point ahead of Heather Bartlett going into the final event. Once again history will be made as, like the 2007 Wingless Sprint Car Series before, a single point will separate the championship point contenders in the final race.

The local racing classes were capped by the 1st Wrong way/Paint Gun shootout. A finale staged by the ever popular Extreme Bombers. The series of tasks included paint gun firing at road signs and the general mechanical mayhem that is expected in every Extreme Bomber event. No one was disappointed as the carnage and crashing left but one car still circulating among the smoking, smashed –up competitors. Former MRP stock car driver Kenny Lloyd and his wife piloted the only car on the track that featured a tongue painted on its grill. It was also the only car running at the finish and was appropriately awarded the first ever Wrong Way/Paint Gun Shootout Race trophy.

The first “Beer Belly” contest staged earlier in the evening was a success judging from the hoots and hollers that ricocheted through the grandstand. The field of entrants was all male (we should have a female class next year, whaddya think?) and featured the very big with the not so big. Promoter Paul Hawes won round 1 and promptly disqualified himself. The final round drew an enormous roar from the crowd as “Taco”, as he likes to refer to himself (no last name, I guess), claimed the 1st place trophy. In other intermission action, announcer Tim Gilbert finally paid off his bet to stock car star Heather Bartlett. Gilbert said earlier in the year that if Heather Bartlett won a feature this year he would let her paint his hair the color of her car…pink. In front of the grandstand with everyone’s apparent approval, Gilbert got PINKED. Bartlett did the honors and a great time was had by all.

The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars crowned their 2007 champion in this event. Mike “Spanky” Grenert of Beale Air Force Base in Vacaville did what he had to do to secure his championship…he won the feature race. Rocklin’s Kevin “Hollywood” Bender had a mathematical shot at the title if Grenert had problems and if Bender could sweep.

In the feature, however, Grenert got to the front early and that was all she wrote. Bender was attacking all night long, but could not catch the high flying Grenert. In a race that was plagued by a constant series of minor yellow flag incidents, Grenert could not get away from the pack.

The final blow for Bender came at the end, as he was involved in a turn 1 skirmish that sidelined the likable racer. Grenert roared on to victory and turned a number of victory donuts to celebrate his great night at MRP. “Dangerous” Dan Weger was the show in the later stages as he took his black rocket to the high side and started to sling his way past competitor after competitor to grab a remarkable 2nd place at the finish.

The Colusa Comet, Tim McLaughlin inched closer to his first ever SORA Sprint 100 title with a terrific victory in the highly competitive Sprint 100 feature event. After early race difficulty getting through the field from his distant starting spot McLaughlin grabbed the lead an appeared to check out on the rest of the field. This time, however, SORA champ Tony Gaioran of Livermore followed him through and was parked on McLaughlin’s tail. It seems that when the SORA performs at MRP either Gaioran or McLaughlin are on top of their game…but not at the same time. This time it was different, and both drivers battled each other hard.

Lapped traffic would make the difference in this one as Gaioran finally ran down McLaughlin and grabbed the lead with a slick move in turn 3. The final 5 laps were about the best SORA racing we’ve seen at MRP. The two title contenders weaved their way in and out of traffic. On more than one occasion McLaughlin stuck his nose back by Gaioran, but Tony G. thwarted the attempts. With 2 to go Tony G. had to make a quick decision in lapped traffic and darted to the outside for a pass. McLaughlin guessed low…and guessed right. Gaioran was bottled up momentarily on the high side and McLaughlin grabbed the lead. He would not relinquish it despite several attempts by Gaioran to get back by. Lincoln hot shoe Gregg Hansen held on to a fine 3rd after early race battles with both Gaioran and McLaughlin.

MRP will be dark next week, but promoter Paul Hawes and wife Kathy will present The California Sprint Car Civil War on Saturday night September 22nd. The winged Pacific Sprint Cars, some 40 strong will invade MRP for the final time in 2007.  The Civil War Championship will be on the line. Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release. Complete finishes, stats and points become official and available at the close of business on Tuesday and will be posted to the web site.

Richards wins a thriller
Olschowka and Luster also score
By Bob Burbach

 Marysville- Wingless Warrior, Chico’s Tony Richards triumphed in what was arguably the best feature race of the season at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park. Hard charging Robert Luster repeated in the KKCY Mini Stock class and Jeff Olschowka added to his long list of feature event victories in the KKCY Stock Car class.

 The KKCY Stock Cars presented their feature event first. 4th starting Olschowka used a brilliant maneuver through the first set of turns to lead coming onto the backstretch on lap 1. Olschowka would not be headed after that.

 Fellow front row starter Heather Bartlett was in the mix early on and was dicing with Marysville’s Ryan McDaniel. Heather Bartlett and McDaniel found each other in turn 3 of lap 4. Bartlett got into McDaniel sending him spinning. Bartlett was sent to the rear of the pack for the incident.

Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett and point leader Phillip Shelby then settled into a sweet battle that would decide the runner up spot in the race. The duel became a walk for Bartlett as Shelby seemed almost content with 3rd, keeping Bartlett in his sights.


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 Meanwhile Heather Bartlett was on the march from the back. She sliced through the field with abandon and remarkably found 4th in the final results. Olschowka was so far ahead by the time Jerry Bartlett cleared Shelby that only a yellow flag could make the difference, and that never came. Bartlett followed Olschowka to the line with Shelby and Heather Bartlett in tow.

 Olschowka won the dash with Shelby and Guy Bean taking well deserved heat race wins.

 103-degree temperatures and a stiff south wind did not adversely affect track conditions as promoter Hawes brought the hooked up surface in nearly perfectly. By feature time it was a 2-groove track that would produce a stirring sprint car feature event.

 Richards started on the pole of the Wingless Sprint Car feature and immediately brushed up against fellow front row starter Yuba City’s Mark Hill.  Hill hammered the wall, got some air time and saved the white #8, but dropped to 10th on the initial lap. The race would be furious for the top spot, as the talented field of racers would run green until lap 18 of the 20 scheduled. 5th starter Terry Shank of Santa Rosa clawed his way into second eclipsing point leader Pat Russum, for 2nd, with a daring outside move at ½ way.

 Then the real dicing took place as leader Richards, Russum, Marysville’s Jeremy Hawes and Shank maneuvered side by side through traffic. It was simply…a thriller. On more than one occasion the trio bumped wheels and, from time to time, bounced into the air. On each occasion the drivers saved their cars and motored on. Shank finally made good a pass for the lead after poking his nose ahead of Richards now, and again. The video clearly shows Shank and Richards creating tire smoke as the pair rubbed wheels while racing side by side. Russum slipped by Richards a couple of laps later as Richards had some trouble with lapped traffic.

 The racing behind the lead trio was as exciting as the lead trio itself and it was hard to know where to look. Steve Stein had made it to 5th and was having a great duel with Hawes who was now 4th.

 With 4 to go, leader Shank encountered heavy lapped traffic and had trouble getting by a quick running Jimmy Steward. 2nd running Russum pounced into the lead as Shank tried high in turn 4 but his opening past Steward closed. Richards slipped by as Shank fought his way past Steward, then shadowed Richards as the pair raced into the 19th circuit. Shank tried a bold outside move in turn one on Richards to regain 2nd. Shank ran over Richards’ right rear and started a startling series of end over end flips that hushed the onlookers and quieted the motors in this exceptional event. To everyone’s relief, Shank popped out of the top of his battered racer with a roar of approval from the appreciative crowd.

 Richards retained the lead when scorers reverted to the last scored lap. The final 2 laps produced a daring move on the last lap as Russum tried to get by leader Richards in turn 3. Russum slid high and Richards took the checkers with Sacramento’s John Anderson and Stein in tow. Russum fell back into 4th with Hawes a fine 5th.

 Anderson’s outstanding run to 2nd was virtually unnoticed in the frenzy that was going on at the front. Anderson started 9th and did the best passing job of the event. Hill recovered to finish 8th after his 1st lap problems.

 Richards, Hill and Russum won the heats and Russum got the cash in the Dash for Cash.

 The KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stocks were next. Damian Merritt and Robert Luster shared the front row with Merritt jumping to an early lead. A series of incidental yellow flags slowed the pace of this race to a significant degree.

 Once rolling it was a good one, Merritt ran away with the early laps until a flat right front tire ended his hopes of victory. Jamey Ollar found 2nd ahead of Luster during the 1st ½ of the race and point leader Lisa Shelby was a strong 4th. Ollar seemed invincible once Merritt was out of the picture.

 Then the race took an exciting turn. Ollar had big trouble with lapped traffic and Luster and Shelby began to reel him in. In the ensuing dice Shelby popped out of the mix and into the lead with a slick move in traffic. She was hammered by a lapped car 1 lap later and Luster took over as the leader.

 Luster had clear sailing from there to the checkers to pick up his 2nd consecutive feature flag. But, there is one more spectacular story to tell. Yuba City’s Blane Baker started dead last in the feature and had the best passing job OF THE SEASON. Baker came flying through into 2nd at the checkers. Baker won the Dash for Cash earlier in the evening.

 Shelby, Ollar and feature winner Luster took the heat race victories.

 The Extreme Bombers brought down the curtain with some wild car crunching action. Judging from the crowd’s reaction, a good time was had by all.

 The  “Wingless Warriors” Wingless Sprint Car Series will be back for a complete program of their heart-stopping wheel-to-wheel action next Saturday. The Mighty KKCY Stock Cars and Mini Stocks will also be back with their slam-bang form of all out action. The ever-popular Extreme Bombers will be featured with their wildly successful figure 8 action. This is not to be missed. It will be a gas. The Extreme Bomber races have turned into high-speed demolition derbies of a sort and are real crowd pleasers.

 Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

 Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.

Former Champ Stein last to 1st in sprints
Shelby, Luster back in victory lane in KKCY Cup
Figure 8-Slam-Bang success.
By Bob Burbach
July 21, 2007 Marysville- 2005 “Wingless Warrior” Sprint Car Champ Steve Stein of Davis scored a fantastic feature event victory at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday. Yuba City’s Phillip Shelby was a rocket in the KKCY Street Stock feature and padded his point lead with an outstanding passing display. Robert Luster of Marysville was quick all night and won the KKCY Mini Stock main event that was peppered with drama both on and off the track. The Figure 8 event that capped the nights festivities was a rollicking good time that had the fans screaming for more.

The KKCY Country 103 Cup feature was presented first and it was worth the price of admission. 7th starting Phillip Shelby put on a driving clinic in his run to the front. In a race that saw few yellow flags, Shelby made the pass for the lead on Marysville’s Ryan McDaniel with a slick inside move off of turn 4. Shelby needed 14 of the 20 scheduled laps to get through the highly competitive field.

Rio Oso’s Jake Cavasos led the first few circuits that included a yellow flag for teammate Jeff Olschowka when he came together with another car. One of the favorites, Olschowka was done for the night. As the race approached lap 5 McDaniel closed rapidly and eclipsed Cavasos with a turn 2 run that sent McDaniel’s #73 into the lead as the pair approached turn 3. While all this action was going on at the front at the front, Shelby was up on the wheel and passing cars. The 2006 champ was relentless in his pursuit of the leaders.

Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett slipped into 2nd and gave chase to McDaniel and began to close as the race neared ½ way. A series of wildly entertaining passes by Shelby put him on Bartlett’s bumper in 3rd. Cavasos and 5th running Ray Benkowski were in a fine duel when they both slipped sideways in turn one creating a mad scramble behind them. Heather Bartlett missed the melee and advanced. Cavasos and Benkowski recovered and motored on. During that jumble in turn 1 Shelby slipped by Jerry Bartlett on the other end of the raceway and set his sights in McDaniel. When Shelby got to McDaniel they raced side by side for a circuit or two and just as quickly as he got here, Shelby began to motor away after a clean, daring pass. He flew under starter Robin Davies checkers with a commanding lead. Heather Bartlett had a great last few laps and found 3rd in the end ahead of dad Jerry who led Cavasos across the stripe.

Picture Coming Soon!!

Robert Luster was in victory lane before this observer knew there was a problem with the original results in the KKCY Mini Stock feature. 2006 Champion Joel Giusti had pretty much dominated at the front of the wild 20 lapper once Marysville’s Shaun Merritt was eliminated in a bizarre accident of off turn 4. But, the all-watching eye of promoter Paul Hawes’ technical team found Giusti’s car out of compliance with the rules and disqualified the series point leader. 3rd place finisher Jamey Ollar was also summarily disqualified and hard charging Lisa Shelby was declared the runner up.

The race itself was a crowd pleasing, chaotic event that had multi grove passing all event long. In fact, 2nd place Shelby was the show in late race action as she clawed her way to the front after a flat tire and a late race spin in turn 4.

Quick qualifier, Merritt was the class of the field and led until nearly ½ way when Guisti quickly approached Merritt. It seemed that Merritt had a mechanical issue that allowed Giusti to catch him. When Giusti caught Merritt in turn 3 Merritt tried to respond with a high side maneuver that didn’t work. Merritt began a lazy slide in turn 4 that collected 3rd running James Foster. Foster and Merritt headed for the wall and Merritt hit it with enough force to send his quick racer to the pits for good. Shelby got a flat and had to visit the pits. She had been quickest to that point along with teammate Blane Baker.

Mike Merritt had also been on the charge and quickly got to the top five. The new green had Giusti virtually run away from the rest with Foster losing ground each lap and Luster gaining ground on the leaders. Shelby was flying through traffic from the back as the race got to its final few laps. Baker was in the mix, too, and going forward. It was a grand dice as the top six cars thundered toward the end. Luster got by Foster for 2nd, and then Foster chugged to a crawl with but 2 laps to go. Shelby was 4th already and still rushing quickly toward the leaders. The field came to the final flag in a cloud of dust and to a yellow checkered as Baker headed toward the infield after Luster cranked it sideways leaving turn 4. Giusti took the checkers 1st with eventual winner Luster in tow.

Post race penalties for unsportsman-like conduct were handed out to Foster and Floyd Youngblood for altercations in the pits after the event. The no-tolerance rules for unsportsman-like conduct set both drivers down for 2 weeks and each received $50 fines.

The drama in the Wingless warriors Wingless Sprint Car Series started before the green flag ever fell. Steve Stein was sent to the rear when his potent #34 would not fire on the original call to start the engines.

Marysville’s Cort Dozier and Tim Sherman Jr. shared the front row and Dozier jumped to an easy lead. Shaun Ternora from Ewa Beach Hawaii started in row two and quickly moved up to challenge Dozier. Mark Hill was in tow riding 3rd. On lap 2 Ternora slipped past Dozier and led at the line. A couple of early race miscues cost point leader Pat Russum a few positions as Jeremy Hawes and he dueled in mid pack. Stein meanwhile was on the move. He was clicking off positions at will as he came to the front in a big hurry. A lap 5 yellow flag found Stein in 4th!

Ternora was quick however and pulled a nice lead as the new green waved. A few laps later a car having obvious mechanical and handling problems checked up in turn 2 causing Ternora to take evasive action. Dozier, Hill and Stein slipped by before Ternora could recover.

2 laps later Stein was by Hill and set his sights on Dozier. Stein was camped on Dozier’s tail, as ½ way became history. Stein then flashed by Dozier only to have the move negated by an incidental yellow flag. At the new green Stein went back to work and, in 3 turns of the ¼ mile, grabbed the lead for good.

The race itself got better in the late laps as first Hill, then a resurgent Ternora got by Dozier. Then, Ternora turned up the heat on Hill and it was a fine race for 2nd at the end. Ternora finally got by Hill for the runner up spot with Dozier hanging on to 4th. Stein ran away in the late laps showing the smooth, aggressive style that got him the championship laurels here in 2005.

“That was fun….” was Stein’s assessment of his drive from last to 1st place in the 30 lapper. Stein’s car and crew stayed on the front chute long after the race was over savoring the moment. A tip of the hat from this observer on a great drive to the front by the former champ.

The 1st EVER Extreme Bomber Figure 8 race brought down the curtain on the festivities with a slam-bang, no holds barred, slugfest that had the fans screaming for more. In the end only 3 cars were running and the rest were battered and smoking after taking relentless hits during the race. At his writing this observer has no idea who won the race, or who his fearless companion might have been. But, the event itself was an unqualified success and NOBODY left the speedway until this one was over.

Next week is the Yuba City Dairy Queen’s Dilly Bar night. All those in attendance will get free ice cream. The final drawing for the Jimmy Sills Sprint Car rides will be staged and a full program of racing is also in store.

The  “Wingless Warriors” Wingless Sprint Car Series will be back for a complete program of their heart-stopping wheel-to-wheel action. The Mighty KKCY Stock Cars will be back with their slam-bang form of all out action. The Winged Pacific Sprint Cars will headline the program that will also have the SORA Sprint 100s on the card.

Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.

Lovell out-duels Monahan
Giusti, Emery and Stinson also score
By Bob Burbach

July 15, 2007 Marysville- Paul and Kathy Hawes presented an ambitious and exciting 4 division program Saturday night that featured 4 new winners in victory lane this season. Yuba City’s Korey Lovell, Sutter’s Joel Giusti, Former Marysville High School football coach Neil Stinson and Doug Emery of Glenn all captured first place prize money in their respective classes. Great battles and a photo finish spiced the program on the Marysville Raceway Park ¼ mile.

          A 95 degree day and a stiff south wind created dry-slick conditions by feature time and would put a premium on driver skill as the Winged Pacific Sprint Cars lined up for their headliner. A “0” pill pull had the field starting straight up for starter Robin Davies green banner. Quick qualifier Mike Monahan was flanked Marysville’s Brandon Dozier as the field roared out of four to start the race. Monahan carried Dozier to the center of the track and buzzed his tires to a car length lead by turn 1. Dozier fell immediately into 2nd. 3rd starting Lovell stayed 3rd as the 1st lap was completed. Dozier slung it into turn 1 on lap 2 just a bit hard and spun to a stop giving 2nd to Lovell.

Picture Coming Soon!!


          The resulting restart set up a race long duel between Monahan and Lovell that had the crowd cheering at times. A lap 4 melee in turn 3 had Cort Dozier on his lid after contact with June 30 feature winner Geoff Duppman. Dozier was OK. Brandon Dozier, after his 2nd lap spin had spent the last 3 laps going from last to 4th in a really swift drive through traffic. Duppman restarted and lined up in last for the new restart.

          A long green flag segment followed with Lovell parked on Monahan’s tail. Lap after Lap the two MRP champions were glued together. As ¾ distance approached Lovell pulled along side and made good a pass for the lead. Rookie Rod Ramirez executed a spin in turn 1 that negated the move.

          At the new green Sacramento’s Rick Kraushar and Jeremy Burt touched wheels in turn 2 sending Kraushar into a bone jarring series of hard-hitting flips. Kraushar eventually walked away from the hard ride, but it took a while for safety personnel to extract him from the wreckage.

          Lovell stayed all over Monahan when the green flashed on once more. With 3 laps to go Lovell got an advantage on the outside running side by side with the leader through 3 and 4. Lovell crossed over as the pair drag raced up the front chute with engines at full song and the tires struggling for bite. Lovell had the inside at turn 1 and made good the pass for the lead. The final laps were uneventful as Monahan tried, but couldn’t get back by Lovell. Brandon Dozier and Duppman were 3rd and 4th at the checkers after passing their way into the top five after early race incidents put them at the rear.

          The full field of KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stocks raced fast and clean in a frantic feature race. The two top point contenders shared the front row as Giusti and Marysville’s James Foster brought the field to the green flag. Only a single point separated the two at the beginning of the night with Giusti on top. This would be a thriller.

          Giusti jumped into a lead he would never relinquish and go on to victory. But, it wasn’t as easy as that as first Foster, then Yuba City’s Lisa Shelby were all over the 2006 champion. Long green flag segments highlighted this spirited tussle for position.

          The battle for 4th and 5th was a great one all night as 2005 Mini Stock champion Kevin Sprague returned to fendered warfare after a year and a half absence. Sprague was the 2006 MRP rookie of the year in the Wingless Sprint Car division last year. Talented Blane Baker and Sprague raced all night long for position just behind the three leaders. The race was so filled with good races that it was hard to know where to look.

          Guisti led Foster, Shelby and Sprague across the line at the end when Baker faded in the last few laps allowing Mike Merritt and Floyd Youngblood 5th and 6th places respectively.

          What was the 3rd closest finish in the history of MRP turned, in the end, into a race decided by the technical inspectors. Sacramento’s John Anderson nipped Glenn’s Doug Emery by.028 seconds in a thrilling side by side finish at the checkers. But Anderson’s car was disqualified in post race inspection and the win went to Emery. The interesting twist here is that it was Emery’s first race at MRP. Emery was fast all night taking a pair of 2nds in both the Dash and his Heat race.

          Emery’s debut was overshadowed by the return of the Flyin’ Ford with Jeremy Hawes back at the controls. Hawes found the lead and disappointment in the curtain closer.

          The front row saw Anderson and point leader Pat Russum side by side at the green flag for the feature. Russum took a sizable lead up the backstretch as Hawes found 3rd behind Anderson at the conclusion of lap 1. Anderson and Hawes put on a terrific show and diced back and forth through the first 8 laps while Russum led by 8 or 10 car lengths. While Anderson and Hawes battled, Russum inched further ahead. An incidental yellow for a stalled racer bunched the field near ½ way.

          The new green saw Hawes get up on the wheel and quickly nip by Anderson. Hawes ate up the real estate between himself and Russum in 2 laps. Then, he roared past Russum 1 lap later on the front stretch to the screaming delight of the onlookers. It appeared that Russum’s string had been broken as Hawes started to move away.

          2 laps later Hawes started a lazy slide in turn 1 and lost it. Russum hit Hawes and both were stopped when Wheatland’s Tim Barnes hammered the motionless 01 and wiped out Hawes front end. Russum and Barnes restarted. Hawes was through after a great drive to the front.

          Emery had raced his way to the front while the Hawes/Russum duel was in progress and inherited the lead after the crash. Anderson was parked on Emery’s tail for the rest of the race.

          As the pair came to the white flag Emery had a paper-thin lead. Emery faltered just a bit in turn 2 and Anderson was along side in a flash. Anderson had the inside line in turn 3 and it was then that Emery crossed over and gassed the red 14. Emery tried the inside as the pair flew to the flag. Anderson beat Emery to the line by.028 of a second in a dazzler of a finish. No one in the grandstand was sitting. It was that good.

          Anderson’s disqualification in post-race inspection put the Emery back on top with Tim Sherman Jr. 2nd and, amazingly, Tim Barnes in 3rd. Barnes great ride back to the front after the Hawes/Russum incident went virtually unnoticed with the fantastic race going on for the win.

          The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars were the hosted traveling group and local speedster Neil Stinson finally found victory lane in a stirring drive to the front. The last time Stinson saw MRP it was a sky-ground-sky-ground experience as he flipped his way out of that competition. This time Stinson systematically clawed his way to the front and, after a heart-pounding battle with “Hollywood” Kevin Bender, took the well-deserved checkers.

          Bender was going to be hard to catch as “Hollywood” pretty much had everyone covered on a night when a great slick track racer like Bender showed the way. Mike “Spanky” Grenert had an adventure as well. His to the back-to the front (eventually finishing 3rd) race was noteworthy.

          It was Stinson’s 1st home victory after years of trying. He’s won just about everywhere else on the traveling circuit but MRP which is situated about a mile from his place of business. Stinson is the former football coach at Marysville High School.

          Next week the “Wingless Warriors” Wingless Sprint Car Series will be back for a complete program of their heart-stopping wheel-to-wheel action. The Mighty KKCY Stock Cars and Mini Stocks will be back with their slam-bang form of all out action. The Extreme Bombers will be back with an outrages car-crunching event that will be the talk of the town, guaranteed.

          Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Gregg comes from 13th in Civil War thriller

By Bob Burbach

     Marysville- Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park was hooked up and smokin’ on Saturday night as the California Sprint Car Civil War Series rolled into town. The show was staged before a packed house on a very warm and breezy evening. Placerville veteran Andy Gregg charged into the lead from 13th staring position, surprised race leader Greg DeCaires with a daring move in turn one with, but a handful of laps left and went on to win.
The sticky, multi-groove raceway allowed for spectacular passing and dicing all night long. Heat race action showed what the fans could look forward to in the feature, as thirteen of the top sixteen qualifiers were able to pass their way into a transfer position through their respective heat races. In this highly competitive series the B main event is often packed with quick qualifiers when heat race action is presented on a fast, but one groove surface early on. This was NOT the case at Marysville Saturday night. The heat races featured high and low passing with only a single yellow flag to slow the free for all battles that were offered in the four lightning fast heat races. 
    Among the notables that didn’t make the cut in the heats were Greg DeCaires, Gridley’s Shawn Amos and current MRP Winged Sprint Car point leader Jeremy Burt. Grass Valley’s Burt and Elk Grove’s Decaires had a spirited duel in the B Main that featured a long green flag segment to its conclusion. The race contained the only red flag incident of the evening when Marysville’s Brandon Dozier tipped it over on the backstretch on the opening lap. He was unhurt. Burt pulled a monster wheelie up the back chute early on that had the crowd rise to their feet collectively with a roar of approval. Third finisher Amos was quick and showed he could be a factor in the up coming featured event. Decaires won the B after his tussle with Burt. Burt stayed second.
    Mark Hall and Civil War point leader Andy Forsberg made up the first row when starter Robin Davies waved the initial green. Hall out-dragged Forsberg into first, but the start was called back when Brad Bumgardner slid sideways in turn four to prompt a restart. Three-time MRP champ Colby Wiesz flattened his right rear in the melee and, like Bumgardner was relegated to a restart at the rear.
    The new green saw Forsberg dart into the lead with Grass Valley’s Hall parked behind him, a close second. Fourth starting Mike Henry flew into third as 2004 MRP champ Mike Monahan picked his way forward from sixth to fourth in the opening circuits. The pace was frantic as the leaders approached lapped traffic in lap eight. Henry darted past Hall to secure third as Sparks Nevada's Monahan drew a bead on Hall and started to challenge. Gregg and DeCaires were picking off cars rapidly in their move toward the front. Then as the field flew into lap ten, Forsberg made a rare mistake. Exiting high in turn two Forsberg started a lazy slide that brought his white 92 back across the track in front of the entire field. Second runner Henry plowed into Forsberg and the two leaders were instantly sitting silent in two. Everybody else scrambled and missed the carnage. Both returned. Wiesz, Henry and Forsberg parlayed their early race bad luck into some entertaining racing for the duration of the event, though further back in the pack.
    The race resumed with Monahan surprising Hall with a slick inside move. Monahan was leading up the back chute when the fourth place car of Amos and Princeton’s Mason Moore made contact approaching turn three.
Moore got some air and peeled the wing off of the quick #07 of Amos. Moore and Amos were done and DeCaires and Gregg picked up a couple of valuable positions in their run to the front. The incident negated Monahan’s pass for the lead.
    The restart began a long green flag segment that allowed Decaires to sling his racer into the high groove and start and impressive march to the front, with Gregg in tow. DeCaires and Gregg eclipsed everyone ahead of them as they reeled in the leaders. Decaires moved into second, then first in successive laps. Greg followed him through. Gregg also started closing on the swift Decaires during this segment. Nearing the ¾ mark of the event, Burt slipped sideways in four and collected Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson. Both cars chugged to a stop ending their runs into the top ten. The yellow was displayed, slowing the pace and allowing everyone to breathe.
    Seven laps would decide it, as Gregg was right behind DeCaires at the new green. It was a thriller from that point to the checkers. Gregg was all over Decaires, lap after lap. In turn one with four to go Gregg tried a bold inside move and didn’t quite make it. The next time around he threw it in harder and lower. Decaires blinked as Gregg got beside him and the pair drag-raced up the back chute. Gregg had the advantage, and the lead by the time they got to three. DeCaires did everything but stand his car on its nose to get back by, but Gregg held on for the checkered flag in front of a screaming grandstand with his front wheels off of the ground. It was a heart-pounder.
     The event was arguably one of the Civil War’s most thrilling presentations in recent years. From the heat races to the final checkers it was a hammer down, elbows in the air, honest to goodness sprint car race. Gregg was wild with enthusiasm over his win and spun a series of donuts on the backstretch. He kept on with his dizzy, spinning display until he actually hit the backstretch wall and his Guts Inc. car finally stopped. He then started to pound on the side of his car and on the wing so loudly that it could be heard in the grandstands fifty yards away. The cheers from the enthusiastic crowd echoed back across the track towards Gregg’s now silent racer. Gregg was excited, but humble in victory lane saluting his fellow combatants; especially Decaires, “He raced me clean after the pass”. Gregg has always done well at MRP.
    It was this observer’s good fortune to see Gregg in the pits after the race giving away autographed photos to kids (and anyone else who asked) well into the night after many others had gone home. A tip of the hat to Gregg for his patience and good will to the fans long after the races were concluded. Gregg’s record of heat race wins here and top five finishes is notable considering he doesn’t race here very often. His “back ‘em in”, aggressive style fits the new MRP track configuration.
    Hall stayed third at the end, with Monahan’s fine ride garnering him a fourth. Brett Rollag of
Rohnert Park was next with Sacramento’s Herman Kline sixth in his 2007 driving debut. For a complete statistical rundown of the event or for specific California Sprint Cart Civil War information please find and click on to the Civil War icon.
    Next week the Winged Pacific Sprint Cars will be back for a complete program of one of their heart-stopping wheel-to-wheel slugfests. The “Wingless Warriors” Wingless Sprint Car Series is also on the card. The Mighty Mini Stocks will be back with their slam-bang form of all out action. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also stop by for another close, fast display.
    Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.

Duppman last to 1st with last lap pass
Shelby, Olschowka and McColloch also win on Kids Night|
By Bob Burbach 

Marysville CA 7-1-07 - A spectacular Winged Pacific Sprint Car feature topped the program at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. The large Kid’s Night crowd witnessed Elk Grove’s Geoff Duppman’s phenomenal charge from eighteenth position to take the laurels in the Winged Pacific Sprint Car headliner. Lisa Shelby held off teammate Blane Baker for the KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stock trophy and Jeff Olschowka of Yuba City walked away from the competition in the KKCY Country 103 Cup Stock Car Series. Nick McColloch won the traveling SORA Sprint 100 feature.

Merritt Brothers Racing sponsored this 3rd edition of Kids Night giving away some 300 prizes donated by a multitude of local businesses and friends of racing here locally. The donations included bicycles, DVD players, t-shirts and a host of other great and valuable prizes. A fair-like atmosphere with clowns and balloons greeted the large crowd. A tip of the hat from this observer to the Merritt Brothers Racing Team and in particular, Jennifer Merritt. Jennifer has recently undergone some serious surgery, put aside her own recovery period and soldiered on to prompt, pick up and deliver the many prizes given away at this festive event. Simply organizing an event of this kind took hours and Jen was always on the phone and making things happen. Cheers, to a great effort.

The KKCY Stock Cars were first up for their feature event and Olschowka powered into the lead from his second row starting position as the field roared through the first two circuits. Pole sitter Heather Bartlett had a dismal first lap and fell to fifth with a big push in turn four on the initial lap. Dad, Jerry Bartlett, and Ray Benkowski, both from Yuba City, once again settled into a ferocious battle for second with Benkowski getting past Bartlett and then Bartlett returning the favor.

The race ended prematurely for the swift Benkowski as rookie driver Carl Harter lost control in his first ever ride coming out of turn four. Harter recovered and drove through the infield as he approached the starting line. He then pulled quickly onto the speedway right into the path of the fast approaching leaders. Harter hit Benkowski a ton. The impact sent Benkowski high in the air and over the banking in turn one. The video showed Benkowski motionless at the wheel as battered 25 came to rest. The red flag was thrown as track rescue crews bolted toward the wrecked racer. Benkowski was quickly removed and soon walked away from the harrowing ride. Olschowka led the rest of the way with ease as the race featured long green flag segments. 2006 champion and last week’s feature event winner Phillip Shelby cruised to an easy third place in front of Billy Knoop and Heather Bartlett.

Front row starter Lisa Shelby led wire to wire in the KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stock Feature. But it was a much better race than that headline would indicate. She was pressured relentlessly by teammate Blane Baker in a race long duel. Baker actually nosed into the lead on the back chute at about ½ way, but Shelby was back in front as the pair crossed the start/finish line. Just behind them Marysville’s James Foster and 2006 KKCY Mini Stock Champion Joel Giusti had a slugfest going on that had ramifications that would affect the point standings. Giusti came into the main event with a 3 point lead on Foster as Giusti beat Foster to the line in a heat race that both drivers competed in earlier.

Foster just beat Giusti to the finish line for third in the feature and when the event becomes official on Tuesday Giusti will have but a single point lead on Foster for the championship. Mike Merritt passed his way into a great fifth place finish.

The Winged Pacific Sprint Car race simply had it all. For much of the race the crowd was on their feet or silenced with apprehension as thrilling duels and a wicked first lap crash were ingredients of event.

At the green front row starters Brandon Dozier and Sparks Nevada’s Mike Monahan took the field into turn one with Monahan gaining the initial advantage. Marysville’s Dozier tried to answer on the back chute, but he lost it. Dozier’s car careened out of control in the middle of the back chute as the entire 20-car field darted to miss the sliding 95. Mike Wasina Sr. was sideways as he tried to avoid the mishap and was hammered by Sacramento’s Tom Baker at full tilt. The racket from that impact hushed the crowd as Wasina flipped. An instant later, Wheatland’s Tim Barnes made a dive for the inside as Wasina flipped toward the outside, but Barnes caught a wheel and flipped as well. He landed close to the entrance of turn three. Duppman was caught in the chaos and slid to a stop on the outside of the entry to three after bouncing around in the middle of the grinding crash. Duppman’s car remained upright and apparently undamaged. Duppman and, amazingly, Brandon Dozier were able to restart in 18th & 19th positions respectively. All of the drivers in the mishap were OK.

The new front row for the restart would be loaded with championship talent. The pole sitter would be 3-time champion Korey Lovell, with 2004 champion Monahan resuming his outside pole status. At the new green, Lovell jumped into the lead with Monahan securing second. Cort Dozier made a quick move into third shadowed by 2-time champion Mike Wasina Jr. of Elverta. A series of quick yellow flag periods kept the field bunched. The track was changing quickly and it was a great race that required skill and daring to move forward.

As ½ way approached Wasina Jr. started to move. He quickly eclipsed Monahan for third who had just been passed by Cort Dozier on the previous circuit. Duppman, however, had used the first ½ of the race to pass cars from his eighteenth starting position on the restart. He passed 11 cars in 9 laps in an astounding display of quick, smooth driving. He was sixth two laps later as the leaders hit lapped traffic. Wasina dove under Dozier with an extraordinary inside move in turn one. It was either going to be a brilliant pass or an outrageous crash. It turned out to be a great pass but Dozier lost the handle and spun a great, wide loop and continued on, only to be slowed by a flat tire moments later. That yellow freed the leaders from lapped traffic with Lovell leading Wasina Jr., Monahan, point leader Jeremy Burt, and Duppman.

At the new green Duppman made quick work of Burt. Coming to Robin Davies white flag, Wasina encountered mechanical problems in turn four and slowed abruptly. Monahan was unable to avoid the white #7w and climbed over Wasina’s left side wheels. Wasina rolled to a halt on the front chute well into the infield. The green stayed on. Monahan saved the blue 49 as it balanced precariously on it’s left side tires for a moment. Monahan had skillfully averted disaster and brought his car down on all four. Lap 19 was scored as Monahan motored back onto the speedway in fifth as the white flag was displayed. As Lovell approached the checkered flag off of four, rookie Rod Ramirez spun on the entrance to one. The yellow was displayed at once negating lap 20. A one-lap dash to the checkers was going to decide this one, but leader Lovell was nursing a wounded mount. Lovell’s right front tire was flat. Duppman had benefited from the Monahan/Wasina problem and was second.

The one lap dash was on. Lovell faltered coming out of two having obvious handling problems. Duppman dove low and the two cars rubbed on the back chute. Duppman threw his 96 into turn three with a slim lead in front of the screaming crowd; it stuck and he cruised through turn four for the victory. It was a thriller. Duppman’s victory was particularly sweet given his dramatic charge to the front. Lovell muscled his wounded mount to second. A scramble in four on the last lap found Shawn Amos finishing third.

The Sprint 100s closed out the evening with a new star rising. Front row starter P.J. Petersen just took off and hid from the rest of the field in an impressive display of driving from the rookie contender. Tim McLaughlin, Tony Gaioran and teammate Nick McColloch couldn’t make a dent in Petersen’s lead. A series of yellow flag incidents and the resultant slowdowns didn’t faze the poised Petersen.

Then, with but a handful of laps remaining, Petersen lost the handle in four and took McLaughlin with him in a slide that almost had the quick rookie on his lid. McColloch motored on to a fine victory and saluted Petersen’s great drive in victory lane.

The California Sprint Car Civil War comes to town next week with 35-40 fire breathing, alcohol burning winged rockets doing battle for victory. The finest Winged Sprint Car show in California will make it’s second of three stops to the Marysville ¼ mile. This event is the final Winged Sprint Car event of the long 4th of July week of racing that started Saturday night with the 3rd Annual Kids Night Sponsored by Merritt Bros. Racing.

Three time Civil War Series champion Andy Forsberg of Auburn is once again at the top of the Civil War driver standings. Colby Wiesz, of Colfax has climbed up to second in the point standings. The three time Marysville Raceway Park track champion, Wiesz, is 17-points behind the leader and is sure to be a contender at the track he calls home. Last time out at the Civil War race at Marysville Raceway Park; World of Outlaws star Brandon Wimmer of Fairmount Indiana took the checkers. Three drivers took flight and flipped during that event, including 2007 track point leader in the MRP Winged Sprint Car series, Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt. The action will be hard hitting and heavy for this second 2007 appearance of the Civil War at MRP. The final show for the Civil War at MRP is scheduled for Saturday night September 22nd. The stakes are high, as the series will pay over $30,000 in prize money to the competitors. 

Many local drivers are also expected to compete on their home track. Completing the list of track regulars that are expected will be Burt, the team of Cort and Brandon Dozier, Jim Marsh, Tom Baker, Lee Armstrong, David Derr Jr., former track champion Mike Monahan of Sparks Nevada and recent feature winner Shawn Amos. 2-time track champion Mark Hall of Grass Valley is expected to be in the show as well. Kids Night winner Geoff Duppman is also expected to make the tow.

Pit gates always open at 3PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.


250+ FREE prizes for Kids Night this Saturday at MRP
2-Family 4 pack Gold Sox tickets; Bikes, DVD players, etc
All kids under 12 are FREE
by Bob Burbach

     Marysville CA.  This Saturday night, June 30, the Merritt Brothers Racing Team and Marysville Raceway Park will sponsor the 3rd annual KIDS NITE at MRP. All kids under 12 are free at the grandstand. This year a host of valuable prizes will be given away. According to Jen Merritt, who is coordinating the evening, all the kids who come will get something to take home from this exciting promotion. There will be a fair-like atmosphere at the speedway for everyone to enjoy.

     A Bicycle, a DVD player, 60 kids racing T-shirts provided by Trik Concepts and 20 Racing DVDs from Bob Burbach will be among the multitude of giveaways offered for the kids. The Gold Sox Baseball team has given 2 family packs of 4 tickets to any Gold Sox Game this year. Track photographer Mike Dehoogh will be offering 10 lucky kids an opportunity to pick a photo of their favorite driver from his fabulous collection of quality photographic images. Rich from Performance Auto Supply is giving away 10 gift bags with racing stickers, a Performance Auto Supply shirt, hat and an envelope with $10 in cash in it.

     Three clowns will be on the grounds for everyone’s entertainment.  “Shine” the Clown, “Peaches” the Clown and a special 3rd clown will be there also. Additional prizes to be given away include 40 certificates from Round Table Pizza in Marysville for individual Pan Pizzas. 40 certificates good for free milk shakes at Red Robin will be among the many prizes. 5 pairs of tickets for Go Kart rides at the adjacent Go Kart track from Richard Sinnott and 2 gift certificates from Dairy Queen will also be in the mix.  Gift Certificates from Power Play are also being given away. Other exciting prizes will be offered in addition to the aforementioned giveaways. A face painting booth will also be on the grounds for all the kids to enjoy.

     All of the participating drivers in Saturday’s program will sign a Frisbee when they enter the event. All of the Frisbees will be tossed into the crowd before the races start. All of the divisions will participate. If the driver’s car # is on the Frisbee held by a youngster and that driver wins a main event, a trophy will be awarded to the youngster on the track after the event along with the driver who won the race. 4 divisions, four trophies! Frisbees that have the Merritt Brothers numbers will have additional prize certificates attached.

     The race program will be a thrilling one as the Winged Pacific Sprint Cars return with their fire-breathing brand of all out competition. The KKCY Country 103 Cup Stock Cars and Mini Stocks will also return. The traveling Sprint 100s will round out the ambitious 4-division program. It will be a gas and the kids will have the time of their lives!!

Make our website one of your “favorites” on you computer. is the address. Watch this site for press releases and updates.
Pit gates open at
3PM Saturday. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page at

Ollar wins with last lap pass
Shelby and Russum dominate

By Bob Burbach

Marysville Raceway Park, Marysville CA. June 24, 2007 - Jamie Ollar of Marysville never gave up and just slipped by Blane Baker on the last lap in the 3rd closest finish ever in main event competition at Marysville Raceway Park. Paul and Kathy Hawes presented a quickly paced program that included dominant feature event victories by Yuba City’s Phillip Shelby in the KKCY Street Stock finale and Sacramento’s Pat Russum in the Wingless Warrior Sprint Car Series. A rip-roaring Extreme Bomber exhibition brought down the curtain on the night’s activities. A noisy, appreciative crowd enjoyed the entertaining program on the hooked up and fast clay surface.

In the KKCY Street Stock Series Phillip Shelby pulled one of the all time monster moves on lap one. Shelby started 6th in the field as the green flag flew. Shelby darted to the bottom and followed 5th starting Jerry Bartlett into one. Shelby freight trained three cars and was 3rd as the field headed up the back chute. Shelby stayed on the bottom and clicked off the next three cars and led coming off of four on lap one!  It was a spectacular passing display and Shelby simply checked out after that. The 2006 champion finally found what had been missing this year and the rest of the field fought for 2nd after lap one.

4th starting Ray Benkowski dropped to 6th in the early going and then started to claw his way back to the front. Benkowski became the show as he got back to 5th in two more circuits and finally 4th behind Jerry Bartlett who was parked behind a surprisingly quick, front row starter Guy Bean. Then Bartlett and Benkowski continued what has been a season long duel for position. It was another good one as Benkowski hounded the 3-time champion relentlessly. Bartlett was up to the task and kept the blue 25 at bay for a pair of laps. As the Bartlett-Benkowski battle approached Bean, Benkowski dove to the bottom in three. Benkowski used Bean as a pick and roared by both into 2nd. Bartlett quickly recovered and slipped by Bean into 3rd. Heather Bartlett eclipsed Bean shortly thereafter and found 4th.  Two long green flag segments completed the event. The yellow flag segment that split them gave Benkowski and Bartlett another shot at Shelby, but that was irrelevant. Shelby led easily to the checkers.

The defending champion endured a relentless oil leak and smoked a little bit all night long. Shelby was candid in victory lane when he said, “…we’ve finally figured something out…and we still cant find the oil leak.” Oil leak or not, the victory combined with Heather Bartlett’s 4th place finish vaulted the defending champion into the unofficial point lead (all races are official at the close of business on Tuesday).

The KKCY Mini Stocks were next up and this one turned into a stellar, crowd-pleasing duel to the end. Early race action saw Eric Jones, Ollar and Marysville’s James Foster in a tight knot fighting for the top spot. Yuba City’s Blane Baker had the point lead coming into Saturday’s race and he was passing his way to the front in the early going.

The Jones-Ollar-Foster slugfest included fender rubbing and heart stopping, 3-wide action at times. Baker was 4th after awhile and began to close on the leaders as a quick series of yellow flags slowed the action.

In the latter part of the event a long green flag segment allowed lapped traffic into the mix. Foster was the best through traffic and pulled a five-car length lead. Another quick yellow allowed Ollar to close up and at the new green, he secured 1st place. He began to pull out a lead. Baker found 3rd as Jones had to pit for repairs. Then Baker began to really hook up. Baker got by Foster with 5 laps to go and closed rapidly on Ollar as they both, again picked up heavy lapped traffic. Foster retired to the pits with mechanical troubles with but a handful of laps left.

Then it was on. With tree to go Baker made a slick inside move and grabbed the top spot. He held it to the white flag. The pair encountered slow traffic as they approached turn three on the final lap. Ollar chose high, Baker chose low. Baker was hampered on the low side by a car that slid sideways in four. It appeared Baker had to lift for an instant. Ollar with a clear high side run stayed in the gas and his momentum was significant off of four. A lapped car split the battling duo as they headed to the flag. Ollar won by less than a car length in front of fans who were literally screaming at the finish.

Overshadowed by the war up front was the great drive to 3rd place by Berry Creek’s Floyd Youngblood. Youngblood continues to climb in the point standings with his best season ever. In post race inspection, Baker’s car was not in compliance with the rules and he was disqualified from the event moving Youngblood into 2nd followed by Suttter’s Joel Giusti and a resurgent Robert Luster.

In the Wingless Warrior MRP Wingless Sprint Car feature Sacramento’s Pat Russum won, yet again. An unprecedented accomplishment in any MRP sprint car series ever. It was his 6th in a row. The race started off with Russum and his archrival for the title, Mark Hill side by side in row three. A great early race battle ensued between Sacramento’s John Anderson and Tim Sherman Jr. Russum and Hill started to move and got to 3rd and 4th quickly as the leaders raced high and low on the perfectly manicured ¼ mile.

A quick yellow flag brought Russum and Hill right behind the lead duo. Sherman and Anderson renewed their fight at the new green, but Russum and Hill were now in the mix. The 30 lapper was near the 1/3 mark when Russum got by Anderson on the low side in turn four for 2nd. Then a great high side pass of Sherman, by Russum was negated by another yellow flag shortly thereafter.

Russum made short work of Sherman at the new green bringing Hill along in tow. Russum pulled to a ¼ lap lead with a clear track ahead. That was the race…almost. With five laps left Russum took a weird line and bounced high in the air in turn 1. His right front suspension had started to break away. Hill started to close quickly, but Russum’s ¼ lap lead was helpful. He needed every bit of the distance to nurse his crippled mount to the flag. He did just that and muscled the #7 to the flag. Hill was 2nd and Sherman held on to an excellent 3rd.

Once again, the Extreme Bomber race was an enormous crowd pleaser. At announcer Tim Gilbert’s urging, the majority of the crowd stayed around to see the mechanical carnage and they were not disappointed. What again turned into a circular destruction derby was a hoot…with a twist. The participants had to race the wrong way on the track. The clockwise direction created a memorable sight as the racers punt, passed and kicked their way around the track. A number of the cars were piloted by unknown, reasonably crazy people. Others were piloted by serious sprint car racers and some by contenders for the mini-stock and stock car championships. Who was in what was sometimes unobtainable, and for the most part, those that rode with the drivers probably will need counseling…and soon. The promoter later explained to this observer that someone with the moniker of ”Taco” had actually won. Mini Stock driver James Foster led for the most part until his car expired on the backstretch. A series of hits, spins and general mechanical mayhem occurred between the flags. Even after the checkers had flown. Pacific Sprint Car star Brandon Dozier actually jumped the banking on the infield Kart track AFTER the flag had flown. Other post-flag hits and spins kept the crowd yelling well after the scheduled end of the show.

It was great fun for all. Promoter Paul Hawes decided to sit this one out after last week’s harrowing ride in the Enforcer.

Next week is Kids Night. Sponsored by Merritt Brothers Racing, this edition promises to be the best. Some 200 prizes will be given away to youngsters 12 and under. A Bike, DVD player, 60 racing t-shirts and hundreds of other prizes will be given away. Kids under 12 are FREE for the show that will feature the return of the Winged MRP Pacific Sprint Cars, the KKCY Stocks and Mini Stocks. The SORA Sprint 100s will round out the exciting 4-division program.

Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page. Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases, updates and complete results.

Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.


Monahan takes sprint honors
Holsey repeats in Country 103 Cup action 
Johnson takes
1st Bomber checkered

By Bob Burbach

             June 10th - Marysville CA.  Marysville’s Cort Dozier slugged it out with Sparks Nevada’s Mike Monahan for 15 laps in an eye-popping display of sprint car racing action. Dozier took the lead shortly thereafter and saw the checkered flag first; but Monahan took the victory. On a wickedly fast, hooked up Marysville Raceway Park surface the two combatants chose distinctively different lines with Dozier on the high side and Monahan down low. Paul Hawes perfectly prepared ¼ mile made for some serious, hammer down sprint car action. It was lapped traffic on the back chute that hampered then leader Monahan and Dozier was able to parlay that into a two or three car length lead that Monahan was never able to make up.

            Dozier took the flag 1st. However, Dozier did not report to tech immediately after the event. This resulted in an immediate disqualification from race director Tim Sherman. Monahan was declared the race winner with Brandon Dozier in 2nd. Brandon Dozier flew into 3rd from his 9th starting in four laps, but could never catch the lead duo. A mid-race, side by side dice between a resurgent Tony Silvera and Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt had the fans on their feet at times. That race was as close and fast as the one up front. Sacramento’s Silvera also won the Dash for Cash earlier in the evening.

            Brandon Dozier’s big leap from 9th into 3rd landed him there at flag. The disqualification moved him to 2nd. Newcomer Brent Steck spent some time bending wings in his first ever race at MRP. Steck flipped his mount twice in exactly the same spot in two different events. Silvera was placed 3rd in the feature with Burt in 4th

                The sprint car race was slowed only once on this beautiful Saturday night at Paul and Kathy Hawes fan friendly facility. A number of great giveaways and prizes were handed out including the “Lucky Dog” prize. A fan in the stands is given his admission back in cash by promoter Kathy Hawes. The complete 5-division program was checkered by 9:30.

            It took a few laps and some luck for Yuba City’s Gary Holsey to get into victory lane in the KKCY 103 Country Cup Mini Stock feature. Holsey, Yuba City’s Lisa Shelby, James Foster and Blane Baker were the combatants in the early laps with Shelby showing the way in convincing style. The other three couldn’t dig into Shelby’s lead, but Holsey seemed to be biding his time as he diced with Baker and Foster. By lap 5 Shelby was encountering lapped traffic as the aforementioned trio battled behind her. As the frontrunners entered the backstretch on lap six Shelby became entangled in lapped traffic and nearly crashed. Her black #88 was completely sideways at one point and she made a tremendous save. The yellow flag was not immediately displayed and Shelby dropped to a distant 5th. Moments later the yellow flag was thrown and Shelby’s bad luck was Holsey’s good fortune as he went from 3rd to 1st during the backstretch melee. Holsey went on to victory unchallenged. Right behind him, however, Marysville’s Foster and Baker tussled for the runner up spot in a very entertaining race. Yuba City’s Baker won that battle and came under the flag in 2nd. Point leader Joel Giusti of Sutter had a troubled night and finished a distant 9th, thus vaulting Baker into the unofficial point lead (all results will be official at the close of business on Tuesday). Shelby held on to 4th and Floyd Youngblood of Berry Creek was 5th. It is interesting to note that Marysville’s Mike Merritt lined up last in the field and passed his way into a credible 8th place behind brother Shawn who also had another good race.

            The evening included the first ever race for the Extreme Bombers. Four cars met the standing start green and the mayhem began. Each car had a ceramic image glued to each corner…..what? Yep, the secret to victory was to have all of the ceramic images knocked off your car... and be 1st across the line. The drivers were mystery drivers and we didn’t have a clue who the pilots were when the race began. Bomber racing includes a driver with the steering wheel and gas pedal. The passenger has the brake pedal. A series of slips, slides, crashes and blown motors brought the race to its smoky, metal crunching conclusion. The only car to have all four corners, and its figurines pulverized was the #29 of Zach Johnson. Johnson’s car was also the BIGGEST car and sustained the largest number of collisions. All in all it was fun, and the crowd roared their approval. Looks like the class will catch on and grow from this point forward.

            The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars put on one whale of a show in their first of two consecutive dates at MRP. The non-stop feature event featured a brilliant, high side drive to the front by Mike “Spanky” Grenert from row four. He got to early leader Pat Weger as the field reached half way. Grenert flashed by Weger with a great cross over move on turn 2. Grenert pulled to a four car length lead right away. Then Weger got hot. Weger found an incredible bite on the low side of turn one and started to eat into Grenert’s lead. Weger had Grenert in his sights three laps later and motored on by for the stunning win. It was a great recovery for Weger who has had incredibly bad luck at this facility. Former Nor Cal driving champion “Flyin’” Bryan Quilty nipped by Grenert at the end when Grenert blew a right rear tire. Grenert nursed his car to 3rd in the final tally. The race was fast and competitive all the way. Dynamite truly does come in small packages.

            A side by side finish for 1st included one of the combatants flying through the air at the stripe. Thus ended the caution free SORA Sprint 100s feature race. A race long battle for the top spot was hampered and influenced by lapped cars from lap 5 on. For all intents and purposes Colusa’s “Terrible Tim” McLaughlin simply rocketed to the early lead in the event. He often tested his fellow competitors with three wide high side passes as he headed to the front. In his wake 2006 SORA Champion Tony Gaioran carved his own path through the full field of winged racers and found 2nd by lap six. McLaughlin appeared unreachable as ½ way approached. In a division that has been plagued with attrition related caution periods only one car retired from the fast and furious 20 lapper.

            McLaughlin’s bravado in lapped traffic seemed enough to keep Tony G at bay. Then Gaoiran started to close rapidly as McLaughlin was severely hampered in lapped traffic off of four on lap 10. Tony G got a great run and flashed by McLaughlin and then magically put ten car lengths on the fleet #99. Tony G took the white flag with a five car length lead and McLaughlin was rapidly making up time. McLaughlin got a great run off of two on the final circuit and was on Tony G’s tail in three. A lapped car was ahead of the pair and they would reach it before the flag. Gaoiran went low, McLaughlin went high as the lapped car split the leaders. Tony G won by a nose as McLaughlin got the right rear of the lapped car and launched into a lazy flight under the starter’s checkered flag, finishing 2nd. It was an incredible finish that had the fans on their feet.

            Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases and updates.

            Next week the Wingless Sprinters return for a full program. The KKCY Country 103 Cup Street Stocks will bring their slam-bang brand of racing back as well. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also cruise into town for some great racing action. The EXTREME BOMBERS will round out the evening with an exhibition of some fun-time automotive mayhem.

            Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.

            Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.


8th Mel Hall Race is in the books

Bartlett, Holsey, Wiesz and Russum score
By Bob Burbach  

Marysville CA.  The best race of the night featured a knock down, drag it out war as the KKCY Country 103 Cup Stock Cars roared to a tumultuous conclusion at the 8th annual Mel Hall Memorial Race. Saturday night Paul and Kathy Hawes put on a great show in front of one of the biggest and noisiest crowds in the 8 year history of the event. Jerry Bartlett of Yuba City captured his 3rd Hall title in the KKCY Country 103 Cup event, Yuba City’s Gary Holsey once again saw the lead as the only place to be, took a badly bent race car and manhandled it to the title for the 5th time in KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stock action.
    Colby Wiesz, the “Colfax Comet” easily outdistanced Mike Wasina in the winged Pacific Sprint Car class. It was, like Holsey, Wiesz’s 5th title in the 8 years of the event. Point leader Pat Russum of Sacramento led wire to wire in the shortened wingless sprint car feature that kicked off the primary four-division program.
     The evening was started with an emotional, caring elaboration on the life of Mel Hall by track infield announcer Sherm Toller. Hall’s contribution to local racing is well documented. The ceremony was concluded with the presentation of a Memorial Plaque to Hall’s widow, Marlyn, The plaque will be placed permanently in a shrine that will soon be erected by promoter Hawes. The shrine will commemorate many of Marysville Raceway Park’s legends as the facility approaches it’s 40th consecutive year of operation next season.
    Sacramento’s John Anderson started the night of thrills and spills with a lap 1, turn 3 flip in the 1st wingless sprint car heat race. Anderson shook off the effects of the ride and returned for the featured event. In the feature, Russum bolted into the lead from his front row starting position and easily led the race to its conclusion without a challenge. The event was halted and checkered when numerous yellow flags that included one segment of 19 consecutive yellow flag laps slowed the pace. In that one segment, many of the drivers simply would not line up in their assigned order much to the disbelief of scorers and officials alike. Thereafter, consecutive problematic restarts and incidental spins resulted in a significant time management problem. The event was checkered with Chico’s Tony Richards, Yuba City’s Mark Hill and Sacramento’s Tim Sherman Jr. placed behind winner Russum. It was Russum’s 4th victory in 5 starts and he was the only new face in victory lane for the Hall Memorial Race.
     The KKCY Country 103 Mini Stocks rolled out next and had a great race to the checkers. Yuba City’s Blane Baker popped into the lead with great early lap moves and put some distance between himself and the snarling pack behind him. Shaun Merritt was in the hunt when yet another mechanical failure took him out of the lead pack. Holsey started to press Baker soon after as Jamie Ollar, Lisa Shelby, Floyd Youngblood and James Foster had a colossal battle just behind. The fans were literally screaming from time to time as the pack that often included 6 or 8 cars contested the top positions.
     Baker slipped sideways a little as he exited turn 2 and Holsey was on him. Holsey seemed to wrestle his normally smooth and quick #2 past Baker into turn 3 near ½ way. Baker tried to respond, but lost the handle and slid to a stop. The yellow flag bunched even closer the tightly packed group of racers. Holsey was never headed during the balance of the event, but the racing behind him was frantic and, once again, Jamie Ollar found the runner up position at the flag. Last week’s feature winner was followed by a resurgent Youngblood, Foster and Shelby. Late race rubbin’ and racin’ kept much of the crowd on their feet to the end. The long green flag segment at the end provided some outstanding racing action.
     The KKCY Country 103 Cup Stock Cars were next up and the race was a barn-burner for much of the distance. Yuba City’s Jerry Bartlett had this one pretty much in hand after an early series of battles with 2006 champ Phillip Shelby, daughter Heather Bartlett and last weeks winner Jeff Olschowka. But, by the same token, nearly everyone in the race had memorable rides. Defending race champion, Ray Benkowski was a factor until mechanical woes sidelined his racer.
     A mid-race get together with Olschowka and Shelby stalled the pair in turn 3. This gave Jerry Bartlett some breathing room and daughter Heather 2nd position. The top 2 spots remained the same at the finish, but it was a hoot ‘n holler race going on behind them as Shelby and Olschowka sliced through the field in the late laps.
Shelby took his mount to the pits with mechanical woes late. Shelby was spectacular as he rode the rim and the front stretch wall, on occasion, prior to his retirement. Olschowka got back to 3rd at the end with teammate Jake Cavasos in 4th. It was fast and furious all the way.
     The featured Pacific Sprint Car closer was wicked fast, and Mike Wasina Jr. flew into an early lead from his 2nd row start. Wiesz and Grass Valley’s Mark Hall found 2nd and 3rd respectively and Hall was really on the button. Hall’s 3rd row start didn’t matter as he was pressing Wiesz for 2nd right away. Hall and Wiesz were wheel to wheel up the back chute in a torrid duel at ¼ distance when Hall’s car snapped sideways. The black and yellow 54 rocketed off of the turn three banking as Hall fought for control. Hall wrestled the car to a safe stop and the yellow was displayed. At the new green Wiesz flew by Wasina on the backstretch as Wasina’s car started to look a little shaky off of turn 2. Wasina recovered and was good enough for 2nd, but never again challenged the fleet “Colfax Comet”.
     Visiting driver Matt Petty took the high-flyer honors for the evening with a frightening endo in turn 1 during a mid-race restart. Petty jumped out after shaking off the effects of the vicious tumble.|
     The new green took the event to its conclusion with Wiesz lapping traffic at will and Wasina holding on to an obviously ill handling racer in 2nd. Mark Tabor Jr. brought Dale Wondergem’s #91 in 3rd after sliding backwards early on. Tabor made his way back toward the front and had a stirring duel with former Hall Memorial winner Korey Lovell. Lovell timed in quickest and was a contender all night. Lovell finished in 4th. Three of the top four finishers were former champions at Marysville. Hall recovered from his high-speed exit in the opening circuits to finish a respectable 7th in the rapid fire 20 lapper. Hall is also a former champion here. Wasina said after the race that he probably broke a shock early in the event prohibiting him from challenging Wiesz.
     The BCRA Midget Lites rolled off a non-stop feature event earlier in the evening dominated by 2006 Champion Doug Hunting.
     Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases and updates.
     Next week the winged Pacific Sprinters return for a full program. The KKCY Country 103 Cup Mini Stocks will bring their slam bang brand of racing back as well. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars and the SORA Sprint 100s will also cruise into town for some great racing action. The EXTREME BOMBERS will round out the evening with an exhibition of some fun-time automotive mayhem.

     Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.


Olschowka, Jones, Amos and Weger triumph

Civil War/Fan Appreciation Nite next week
By Bob Burbach 

Marysville CA.  On a night when the afternoon weather dictated the racing surface rather than did track preparation efforts, Paul and Kathy Hawes presented a fast paced 4-division racing program at Marysville Raceway Park. At about 2 PM a sun blocking, humid, virtually windless overcast shadowed the Yuba Sutter area. This bizarre, unpredicted element made it clear that preparing the clay for racing might well be difficult, or even unmanageable. But, Hawes kept working, and the hearty racers who stayed brought in a raceable high groove. Hawes declared the race a “non-point” event, as he did not want the unusual track conditions to affect the championship points race in any way. The patient fans were treated to some entertaining competition, especially in the two local fendered classes.
    Marysville’s Jeff Olschowka took over the lead at halfway in the MRP Street Stock feature when teammate “Big Jake“ Cavasos left the track with a mechanical ailment after a great run at the front. With no points available, point leader Heather Bartlett and 2006 MRP champion Phillip Shelby chose to sit this one out. However, Heather’s dad Jerry and Ray Benkowski, both from Yuba City, put their race faces on and put on a whale of a show! Moving the fender-rubbing duel from the heat race to the feature, Bartlett and Benkowski had the fans roaring as this battle for 2nd moved into its final stages. “Mr. Controversy”, Bartlett would beat Benkowski on this night to take 2nd behind Olschowka, “Rapid Ray” would have to settle for 3rd.
    Marysville’s Eric Jones finally made it to victory lane in the MRP Mini Stock feature after a great 2006 that should have garnered him rookie of the year. Controversial penalties made that impossible. He showed up with a renewed vigor for the 2007 season and has been very competitive all season long.  Jones was humble in victory lane saying, “This was Joel’s race, but I’ll take it.”
    He was talking about Sutter’s Joel Giusti, the 2006 MRP track champion who led every lap but the last one.
Yuba City’s Gary Holsey and Giusti were locked in a titanic struggle for 1st place as the race ran into its last three circuits. 6th starting Holsey had reached the leader in another remarkable display of passing on the very narrow racing surface. Giusti had thwarted two previous inside challenges by Holsey as the white banner flew. Holsey threw his car under Giusti in one final attempt in turn one as Jones looked on from 3rd. Holsey washed up and hit the leader in turn one. Both cars slid to a stop as Jones carefully tiptoed past the crashing leaders. Jones led Robert Luster, Luster’s brother, Alan Furuta and Damian Merritt under the checkers. With only a couple of exceptions, the full field of 20 Mini Stocks took the green.
    Gridley’s Shawn Amos led wire to wire in the Pacific Sprint Car feature event. The race was lightning fast as Marysville’s Brandon Dozier shadowed Amos the entire distance.
San Jose’s Jeff Delte returned to the raceway after a couple of weeks off and did everything but stand his winged black #11 on its nose trying to pass people. He worked his way from 6th to 3rd in a handful of laps and camped on Brandon Dozier’s tail the rest of the way. On three occasions, in the last five laps Delte crept up on the outside of Dozier, but Dozier held his ground. With two to go Delte tried low, but once again Dozier held fast. That’s the way it ended with Derek Dozier in a competitive 4th.
    The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars had a great main event as the Easter egg colored coupes and sedans were the least effected by the narrow racing lane. Slicing and dicing was the name of the game. “Alimony” Al Ghiorso showed up for the first time all year and kept the leaders honest finding 3rd in the early going. The early leader was the “Caped Crusader” Josh Hiatt and Grass Valley’s “Dangerous Dan” Weger was pressuring him relentlessly.
    Weger slipped by Hiatt by ½ way and Ghiorso would fade leaving “Swift” Scott Dahlgren to pressure the leaders. At that precise time “Hollywood” Kevin Bender showed up in 4th and it was an eye-opening high-speed dance that ensued. No one could get by Weger, however, and he took the white flag with what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. As Weger pressed into turn one some telltale smoke and an ugly sound came from his engine. The black 07 erupted into a plume of white smoke on the back chute and started to lose power. He crept across the finish line as the train behind him shot by…but they were too late. Weger had just slipped under the checkers and took the win.
    Once started, the 4-division program was run, in its entirety, in 1 hour and 22 minutes. An Extreme Bomber exhibition followed and was good for a couple entertaining slips & slides with (we were told) local sprint car star Brandon Dozier doing the honors with a, likely, very terrified passenger on board.
    2 BIG events are on tap for next weekend as the California Sprint Car Civil War comes to town on Friday with 40 of the finest winged sprint cars anywhere. Promoter Hawes has offered a $1000 bonus to the top ten finishing Marysville regulars that compete in the program. The ticket window will open at 3 PM for advanced sales and the front gates will open at 5 PM. Qualifying is scheduled for 6.30 PM with racing at 7.30 PM.
    On Saturday night Fan Appreciation Night is on tap. General admission to the exciting program is only $5 and hot dogs will be $1 all night long. The MRP Mini Stocks and Stock Cars will head the card that will include the SORA Sprint100s. The Extreme Bombers on the grounds will put on an exhibition at the conclusion of the event.
    Put www.marysvilleracewaypark on your “favorites” button on you computer. Watch this site for press releases and updates. Pit gates always open at
3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM on Saturday. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.
Note: Please make this observer aware of any names that are misspelled. The text is based on information we have at the time of its release.

Thursday Night Test & Tune Sessions Cancelled
April 8, 2007 - Effective Immediately, we will be terminating the Thursday night Test & Tune sessions. There is NO Test & Tune on April 12, 2007, nor any future dates at this time.

Transponders are now required
Transponders are now required for both Friday night Outlaw Karts, and our regular Saturday night program.

Dozier, Bartlett, Russum and Grenert score
By Bob Burbach

Marysville CA. May 12, 2007 -  Yuba City’s Mark Hill didn’t win, but he was the show in the Wingless Sprint Car feature at Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. Paul and Kathy Hawes also hosted the Winged Pacific Sprint Cars, The MRP Street Stocks and the Nor Cal Dwarf Cars in a full 4 division program.
    Hill’s exciting evening began with an easy run into the lead at the opening green flag of the feature. A 5-car tangle bent some iron in turn one as the field started lap 2. Most of those involved restarted at the rear. Hill was the leader at the new green, but was tagged from the rear by 2nd running Keith Shippard as the field headed into turn one. Hill tried to save it, but chugged to a stop headed backwards at the bottom of the track. Hill went to the rear.
    The new leader Shippard then hammered the front stretch wall on the restart and left parts from the flag stand to the pit entry. He turned the rear portion of his drive train into shrapnel with larger pieces twirling through the air as the car wobbled to a halt. Two time feature event winner, Sacramento’s Pat Russum, was the beneficiary of both Hill’s and Shippard’s misfortunes. He inherited the lead and went on to win, going away.
    But Hill’s great drive to the front was remarkable. Hill sliced high and low through the field with a smooth and calculated precision. A couple of mid race yellow flags helped, but Hill was on a mission. His ride garnered him a 4th place finish behind Russum, Tim Sherman Jr. and a consistent Jimmy Steward. It was an excellent show. The finishes will likely jumble the point standings once again when the event becomes official at the close of business on Tuesday.
    For the 3rd consecutive event Pat Russum has picked up the feature event checkers at MRP. This talented youngster has won three of the four events he has entered. A two car pass on the high side through three and four as the field came to the checkers in his heat was among the finest moves we’ve seen in a while. Russum continues to impress as the field of Wingless Warriors continues to improve at MRP.
    3-time MRP champion Jerry Bartlett of
Yuba City held off a mighty challenge from Ray Benkowski mid way in the feature to take the checkers in the MRP Street Stock main event. A six-car pile-up in turn one on the original start mixed the starting order for the restart and Bartlett started outside the pole. He out dragged the field into turn one and seemed to pull away at will.
    At ½ way Benkowski, also from
Yuba City, slipped by Bartlett with a move reminiscent of last week’s late race pass that the driver of the blue #25 made stick. This week was another matter. Bartlett got up on the wheel and roared back by Benkowski and immediately put 3 car lengths between them. Bartlett was uncatchable after that and easily took Robin Davies checkered flag with room to spare. Benkowski stayed 2nd and point leader Heather Bartlett finished 3rd. She was able to pad her point lead over last week’s winner Phillip Shelby. Shelby’s night came to an abrupt end when his car was badly damaged in the 1st lap melee. Though he drove away from the crash, his suspension was a mess and he could not continue. Guy Bean was 4th.
    Last time out Cort Dozier had to go from last to 1st. This time he went from 1st to 1st in a dominating display. Behind Dozier was an entertaining slice and dice session going on that included as many as six cars at any given time. The MRP Pacific Sprint Car main event was another satisfying, competitive event.
Sacramento’s Tom Baker was lifting his wheels on several occasions as he battled with a host of other racers. Point leader Jeremy Burt was in the hunt for 2nd all night long as was Brad Bumgardner and, while he lasted, Brandon Dozier. Derek Dozier started making serious progress as the race went into its final stages. He pulled off a nifty high side pass of Burt to secure 2nd and stayed there to the flag.
Baker and Brandon Dozier weren’t around at the checkered flag but, Bumgardner was to finish 4th. Greg Sherman finished in 5th. Sherman came back from an early race spin to pick up the 5th place money. Once again the wide MRP track provided multiple passes and exciting racing action in the Pacific Sprint Car class.|
    The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars were the hosted travelers this weekend and Mike “Spanky” Grenert of Travis AFB took his 2nd victory of the season here. 2003 Mini Stock Champion at MRP Jeremy Blackshere of Marysville stole the show, however. Blackshere was penalized to the last starting position for a jumped start at the initial green. All eyes were on Blackshere who, like Hill in the Wingless Sprint Car feature carved his way to the front. Blackshere actually made it to the front and was the leader at ¾ distance. Then Grenert started to move. Grenert was running inside and outside as his car approached the leader. Grenert got by with two to go and Blackshere slipped to 3rd, but it was and outstanding effort by both drivers.
    Next week the Outlaw Karts will kick off the weekend on Friday night. On Saturday night, the MRP Winged Pacific Sprint Cars, the MRP Mini stocks and the MRP Street Stocks will be on hand for complete programs. The Extreme Bombers are also scheduled as an extra-added attraction. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also be on the card for a back to back return.
    Watch the website for details on the MRP $1000 bonus offered by promoter Hawes for MRP members at the upcoming Civil War Show on Friday May 25th.  Make our website ( one of your “favorites” on you computer. Watch this site for press releases and updates.
    Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.


Russum repeats; wire to wire for the Shelbys
MRP hooked up and smokin’…again!
By Bob Burbach

Marysville CA. May 6, 2007 - Promoter Paul Hawes pulled a second rabbit out of the hat Saturday night and had a perfectly prepared racetrack waiting for the superb 4-division show presented at Marysville Raceway Park. The ¼ mile clay beat afternoon winds that kicked up to 30 MPH at times during the sunny parched afternoon. The fan friendly, thunder and lightning show, that included full fields, was concluded at 9.30 PM. Over all, the well-crafted event featured dozens of thrilling side-by-side races and personal introductions of all drivers in all divisions on the front stretch prior to their main events. The evening also included a monster, heart-stopping flip up the back chute and a spectacular fire.

In the MRP MiniStock feature point leader Lisa Shelby, of Yuba City, led every lap from her outside pole position starting spot. James Foster of Marysville dropped into 2nd and shadowed the leader for most of the event. A resurgent Floyd Youngblood of Berry Creek found 3rd and hounded the lead duo until his Toyota Mini pick up gave up the ghost with but two laps remaining. All eyes were on 4th row starting Gary Holsey of Yuba City. Holsey staged a charge that would bring him to 2nd in the final tally. By his own admission Holsey simply “ran out of laps” in a race that was slowed only once by a caution flag.

Foster made a challenge for the lead in the late laps, but lost the handle on his quick #3 in turn one. Foster recovered, but he re-entered the fray in 4th. He eventually came under the checkers in 3rd.  Shelby, who swept the program, slipped through traffic with ease and sailed under the checkers with a comfortable margin.

Foster and two other competitors were disqualified in post race for not reporting to the technical inspectors immediately after the race. The infractions moved Yuba City’s Blane Baker, Joel Guisti and Marysville’s Damian Merritt into 3rd through 5th respectively.

Much like his sister in the previous race, 2006 MRP champion Phillip Shelby of Yuba City led wire to wire in the MRP Street Stock feature. Shelby out gunned Yuba City’s Heather Bartlett into turn one and was never headed. Bartlett never gave up, however, and pulled along side Shelby with but two laps to go. Shelby got the wake up call and pulled to a two car length lead at the flag. Bartlett stayed 2nd with a charging Ray Benkowski in 3rd. Jerry Bartlett finished 4th after Benkowski got by but was disqualified in post race inspection. Shelby swept the show to obtain the maximum number of points available in the competition.

Benkowski’s remarkable drive to the checkers started with a last place starting spot in the feature event. Benkowski got up on the wheel and picked off cars at will and arrived in 3rd after the pass on Jerry Bartlett. Yuba City’s Billy Knoop was not in attendance to defend his point lead. Heather Bartlett will take over the top spot with her 2nd place finish and heat race victory. This marks the first time in the 39-year history of MRP Street Stocks that a female driver has lead in the standings.

The race was red flagged at ½ way by a huge flash of flame and a fire that, for an anxious, and seemingly endless, few moments engulfed the entire car of Marysville’s Jimmy Ford. Ford’s car burst into flames in the engine compartment exiting turn four. Flames licked into the cockpit for the length of the front stretch. Ford scrambled out of his racer very quickly as fire personnel met the orange #12 as it rolled to a halt off of turn one. Ford was unhurt in the spectacular looking blaze.

A textbook diamond off of turn two bolted Sacramento’s Pat Russum into the lead at ¾ distance in the MRP Wingless Sprint Car main event. He went on to win the feature that capped the point racing competition on this thrilling Saturday night. A sticky-fast ribbon of clay greeted the field as Yuba City’s Mark Hill shot from his outside pole position starting position into the lead. Cameron Park’s Gary Lewis shadowed the fleet Hill #8 for the first few circuits. Then Hill pulled away at a rapid clip. Russum fell into 3rd during the early going. Hill was untouchable as he mastered the hooked up surface.

Russum got by Lewis with a nice high side move, but Hill was gone. Then the complexion of this event changed when Auburn’s Jimmy Steward jumped the wheel of another racer and flew through the air from the flag stand to the entry of turn one. Steward’s landing was a lucky one as the yellow racer landed on its wheels after a pair of perilous bounces. Pat Couch came to a stop during the incident, but, amazingly, Steward kept going. It was the races’ only yellow flag.

The slowdown allowed Russum to close up on Hill and two laps later Russum went low on Hill got the lead.  Hill remained in 2nd at the flag with Lewis, Sacramento’s John Anderson and Steve Fletcher in 4th and 5th respectively. It’s worth noting here that the battle for 3rd through 5th was worth the price of admission. It was hard to look away from the spectacular side-by-side tussle these drivers presented. It was scary to watch at times.

Hill and Sacramento’s Tim Sherman Jr. came into the event deadlocked at the top in the point standings. In his heat race, Sherman got together with another car and flipped spectacularly some 40 yards up the backstretch landing at the entry at turn three. Sherman was motionless for a few frightening heartbeats as rescue personnel reached the battered car. Then there was movement and everyone breathed easier. Sherman was banged around and stunned in the grinding crash, but essentially unhurt. The team spent the entire evening pasting the #1jr back together. Sherman barely made the call for the feature, but he took the green flag. Sherman soldiered along and he began to make some progress through the field. He finished a fine 8th.

The SORA Sprint 100s took advantage of the fine racetrack and presented the final event of the evening. Pleasanton’s Tony Gaioran ran away with the show after some heart-stopping traffic driving that kept his challengers at bay. His closest rival, Colusa’s Tim McLaughlin finished a fine 3rd after his top wing left side panel ripped off and was deposited on the track early on. Point leader McLaughlin went to the back and made a notable effort that resulted in his fine finish.

Next week the Outlaw Karts will kick off the weekend on Friday night. On Saturday night, the MRP Wingless Sprint Cars, The MRP Street Stocks and the MRP Winged Pacific Sprint Cars will be on hand for complete programs. The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars will also be on the card.

Make our website ( one of your “favorites” on you computer. Watch this site for press releases and updates.

Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.




Hill and Burt set the bar
Bender takes Nor Cal, McLaughlin best in S-100s;
4 winners crowned in inaugural Friday Kart show
By Bob Burbach

April 8, 2007 Marysville CA. Yuba City’s Mark Hill and Grass Valley’s Jeremy Burt set the bar for the 2007 sprint car season at Paul and Kathy Hawes’ Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. The opener was action packed with competitive fields entered in both of the local sprint car classes. A stiff south wind was ever present and an atmosphere of renewal was in the air. The doors were open and the racers came. It was electric, it was the 39th consecutive opening day. 

Pre-race ceremonies honored a couple of the young lions of the sport for their respective rookie efforts. Trowbridge’s David Derr Jr. was honored with a monster trophy and congratulations all around for his 2006 Rookie of the Year run in the Pacific Sprint Cars. Derr was there with dad David Sr. to enjoy the hearty round of applause at the packed driver’s meeting. Yuba City’s Kevin Sprague was similarly honored for his gallant effort on behalf of his good friend Hill. Hill’s bizarre injury at the beginning of the season opened the seat for Sprague and he parlayed it into a fine 3rd place in the final point standings, securing Rookie of the Year honors in the process. Sprague doesn’t have a ride this year. Someone should consider putting him in a seat. He goes forward and doesn’t crash.

The MRP Wingless Sprint Car feature event was a nip and tuck, pass ’em - repass 'em slugfest that wasn’t really settled until the checkers flew. Sacramento’s Steve Fletcher surprised a number of observers by taking a competitive lead on the windswept raceway banging wheels with pole sitter and early leader John Anderson in the process.
Anderson roared on by into the lead a couple of circuits later with Hill in tow. Anderson, a two-time winner here last season slipped to 3rd by half distance, but re-passed Hill for second shortly thereafter. Then Hill got up on the wheel. Hill’s white #8 was coming and coming fast.

Back in the pack a determined Tim Sherman Jr. was having problems getting rolling, but soon he found a rhythm and started to pick off cars. Aided by yellow flag caution periods, Sherman was on the march and showed up in the top five by ½ way. Meanwhile back at the front: Hill, Anderson and Fletcher were at war.
Hill, using smooth, calculated moves picked off Fletcher and carried the lead into the last five circuits. Enter Sherman. 

All of a sudden
Sherman was on top of the lead trio. First Anderson washed out on turn four and lost four positions. Sherman was 3rd and put his eye on Fletcher. He reeled him in.

Hill was in command now and would not be headed. Sherman became the show. In a last ditch effort with but two to go Sherman got by Fletcher with a nice backstretch effort and secured second for the final checkered flag.

Hill’s notable effort combined with a heat race win will catapult the likable chauffer into the top spot in points. Hill’s dismal 2006 is history and is looking for success in the new season. Hill led Sherman and the surprising Fletcher across the line. It was a solid win for Hill.

Burt led wire to wire in the winged Pacific Sprint Car feature showing concentration and an uncanny cool hitting his marks on every lap. His ability to roll into the throttle off of turns four and two made the difference as the track slicked up. Others were buzzing their tires while Burt drove away into the night.

The wheel banging took place early and often as Burt sailed off to big leads a t every new green flag. Burt has to be considered a real favorite in the hunt for the title. However, a backstretch yellow flag incident may have eliminated Burt’s most pressing competition for the win. An early race yellow for a minor spin brought the field under caution, but 8th starting Brandon Dozier of Marysville never saw the light. Dozier collected another car and flipped on the back chute. While the accident was not a serious one, it KO’d the quick contender from further competition.

The new green saw Burt, once again, disappear as Gridley’s Shawn Amos, 6th starting Cort Dozier of Marysville, 2004 Champ Mike Monahan and Sacramento’s Tom Baker contested 2nd. Amos held the runner-up spot for a while then Baker would slip by…then Monahan…and so on in an entertaining tussle. Burt however was distancing himself from everyone else in a dazzling display of disciplined driving.

The checkers flew on Burt. It was a rout at the front. 2nd through 5th was another story. A last lap pass by the surprisingly competitive Baker netted him 4th as he braved his way by Monahan in the last set of turns. Amos cruised in for a fine 2nd with Cort Dozier in a steady 3rd.

In victory lane, the ecstatic Burt described the surface as a “driver’s track”. Burt will take the point lead into the April 21st point competition at MRP. The event will be official at the close of business on Tuesday, but there were no known protests or controversies at this writing.

Next Saturday night, the California Sprint Car Civil War will bring 40 plus Winged Pacific Sprint Cars to MRP. Fairmont Indiana’s Brandon Wimmer brings a slim point lead into the event, with MRP 3-time champion Colby Wiesz a short 15 points out of the lead. The fire breathing alcohol-burning sprinters will take to the track at about 6PM with qualifying scheduled for
6.30PM and racing at 7.30PM. Burt, Dozier, Monahan and most of the players in Saturday’s contest will be at MRP to compete.

In Saturday’s companion Nor Cal Dwarf Car competition “
Hollywood” Kevin Bender exacted personal revenge on Mike “Spanky” Grenert. He led Grenert across the line by a car length in an excellent race. Grenert beat Bender by a paper width in their last outing here. Saturday’s reversal of fortunes tightened the already tight Nor Cal point chase. A full field of the colorful racers was on hand for MRP’s opening point race. Check out for the latest details on the Nor Cal group.

In Saturday’s caution plagued SORA Sprint 100 feature Tim McLaughlin of Colusa picked up his second consecutive victory. Once again he came from the back row to the front. McLaughlin’s quick racer seems to be the class of the field in early season competition. Champion Tony Gaioran was not running at the finish after an altercation mid way in the race.

Friday night’s inaugural Outlaw Kart event saw 4 winners take home the hardware. Ryan Robinson won the Beginner Box Stock feature event while Justin Bradway won in Box Stock. It is interesting to note that Justin's dad Alan Bradway prepared racecars for Ryan's dad David Robinson in Civil War Sprint Car Racing. The team was so successful that it resulted in Civil War championships for both dads.

Yuba City's Cameron Bartlett trounced the 250 Class with relative ease and John Michael Burch was the class of the 500’s. The Karts will return next Friday for a full program getting underway at 7PM.

Make our website one of your “favorites” on you computer.
Watch this site for press releases and updates. 

Pit gates always open at 3PM. Pit meeting and pill draw are at 5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.

Marysville Raceway Park Season Opener
byBob Burbach

3.17.07 - Hammer Down opener at MRP Bartlett, Baker, Cleveland and Pappenhousen score Spring Open Wheel Open next week!!  Marysville CA. Drifting on dirt at 100 MPH was never more ably demonstrated as at Paul and Kathy Hawes Marysville Raceway Park Saturday night. The first annual Taxi Cab Open played host to monster slides and racecars pawing their way on three wheels around the perfectly prepared clay surface. 4 open stock car divisions opened the season.  Yuba City's Jerry Bartlett returned to victory lane in the Open Street Stock portion of the event. Bartlett's stirring pass of Marysville's Jeff Olschowka after a monster duel for the lead had the cheering crowd on their collective feet. As a matter of fact, lap 2 provided a three-wide drag race up the back  chute that included the aforementioned pair and Heather Bartlett, Jerry's daughter. lschowka won that battle of nerves only to be passed by Jerry Bartlett a couple of circuits later.

The race was slowed by two caution periods that allowed the charging pack to  lose on the lead trio.  Olschowka used the new greens to renew his challenge of Bartlett while Heather Bartlett nipped at their heels. Olschowka never could get back beside  Bartlett.

The lead battle overshadowed a great drive to the front by Yuba City's Ray Benkowski. Benkowski was mired in traffic at the outset, but continually nipped past cars and finished a fine fourth. Antioch's Terry DeCarlo came in a competitive fifth in his first

appearance at MRP in three years.  Jerry Bartlett was frank in victory lane. "I hit the clutch instead of the brake…I have never driven a 4-speed here before", He quipped. It was about the only mistake he made. "Paul Hawes has done a good job with this track. It is fast and tacky."

Yuba City's Blane Baker was a rocket as he dominated the MRP Open MiniStock eature after a spectacular backstretch crash nearly eliminated him from the competition. His battered racer showed the signs of a narrow escape as he pulled into victory lane.  Brothers Mike and Damian Merritt were battling for the lead in the opening laps with Baker watching from third. The lead pair headed up the back chute with Damian Merritt slightly ahead. Mike Merritt moved on the inside and they got together. Damian Merritt

started a long lazy slide up the backstretch and was hammered by pole sitter Ryan Francis. The impact was significant and Francis' car was heavily damaged in the impact. Baker also bounced into the wreck, but kept on going. His brush with fate put him in the lead at the restart.

After the crash, it was all Baker as he pulled to a half-lap lead at the checkers as he wound his way through lapped traffic without hesitation. It was a great effort for a deserving racer. Mike Merritt was penalized for his move on the Damian Merritt #22 and

never was a challenger after that. The Merritt 22 also re-entered the fray, but was not a factor.  Baker noted, "I had a good run tonight, even after a bad hit on the front". He was referring to the backstretch crash.

Yuba City's Duane Cleveland blasted his way into victory lane in the Modified portion of the four division extravaganza. He pretty much three-wheeled his way to the victory in an awesome display of power and speed. He nearly flipped in turn three on one

occasion, as the underside of his potent 2c was clearly visible to the fine crowd. Cleveland was theman to beat, but perennial favorite Randy McDaniel kept it interesting as he continually came through the field after a series of problems that sent him to the

rear of the field on several occasions. McDaniel wound up second in a race that saw an unusually high attrition rate.

The hooked up raceway provided an ideal setting for the powerful Modifieds to show their stuff. Oregon's Travis Perry made a sweet late race pass of Stock Car

ace Richard Pappenhousen to secure a well deserved third.

Pappenhousen put on a remarkable display of speed and daring in the featured Late Model main. Pappenhousen slugged it out with Bakersfield Speedway's Late Model

Champion Zack Forrester in the early laps before setting sail for the checkers, unchallenged. Yellow flag periods had no effect on the high-flying Pappenhousen. He simply rocketed away from the field at will. Pappenhousen's orange racer seemed almost to float on the hooked up and quick clay ribbon.  Forrester stayed second, with Merced's Marcus Aue in third. They were the only racers on the lead lap atthe end.

Pappenhousen was thrilled with the surface. But, his run in the front was not without it's problems. "The track was great up high…but I broke a right front shock".

The final checkered flag flew at 9:26PM with the entire show in the books. Each feature event was previewed by a crowd-pleasing introduction of each of the participating drivers on the front stretch. Promoter Hawes' new format and pre-race lineups formula had the program flowing. The early out included two intermission breaks.

Next Saturday night, the Spring Open Wheel Open will be on tap at the new Marysville Raceway Park. Winged Pacific Sprint Cars, Wingless 360 Sprint Cars, The Nor Cal Dwarf Cars and the Sprint 100s

MRP has undergone a wealth of changes over the winter as the Hawes' crews went to work to immediately change the look of the raceway. The track is wider and the

banking is less severe. Pitching and then catching the car in turn one likely will be a thing of the past, as the increased speeds entering one will require the pilot to DRIVE into the turn. The anticipated higher speeds will be complimented by a much wider track that will allow more passing and less single groove racing.  Side by side racing is back. The backstretch has been bowed to create more of a "D" shaped surface from the turn one entry to the turn four exit. Three and four are wider and faster. Recent track tests have showed that some racers can flat foot through the west side complex of turns. This was impossible in years past. The pit area grandstands have been relocated and raised onto a new, handicapped accessible ramp and concrete promenade offering an excellent view of the entire track for all owners and pit crewmembers. Newly planted flowers will welcome the teams to the pit grandstand area. A brand new women's restroom facility and a pit only concession stand will replace the 50-year-old shack in the pits. Construction and improvements continue at a feverish pace to make this the most racer friendly pit area in California. The pits have been greatly expanded allowing for some elbow room for teams. Improvements on the horizon include a completely lighted pit area with each pit

having water and electric access. Check out the most recent photos of MRP's  improvements at  Make our website one of your "favorites" on you computer.  Watch this site for press releases and updates. 
Pit gates open at 3PM. Pit meeting at
5PM. Spectator Gates Open at 5PM with racing getting underway at 7PM. Contact the promoters at 1.530.743.1327 or email as indicated on the home page.


March 14th, 2007 - This weekend will be our first race of the year. We will be having the western late models, modifieds, street stocks, and mini stocks. This race will be the first in a long time for a few different things. It will be the first race that we put on as new promoters, it will be the first race for the newly re-done, up to date (and code) concessions, as well as the track and track layout. It will also be the first time in quit a while that the late models have ran around here. They really put on a show and it is expected to have a full feild of cars. The modifieds also look to have an awsome roster with cars coming from all over. Even some drivers doing double duty between the modifieds and late models. A few of the late modle guys are fresh off of runs at las vegas and bakersfeild. The street stocks and mini stocks should be exciting also. In earlier testing done out at the track in the previous weeks it looks like Jerry and Heather Bartlett and Jeff Olschowka will be hard to beat in the stock cars. If you are a fan of the modifieds and or late models, this weekend will be a good treat. If you have never seen the late models in action, prepare to be impressed.